The 15 Ipswich shops which have shut for good in 2020
- Credit: Archant
It's been a turbulent year for our high streets in the wake of coronavirus, forcing many shops in Ipswich to close their doors for good.
They once played important roles in the town's retail landscape, but now these 15 shops are just empty units - with more and more appearing in the town centre.
Many of the shops have decided to close their premises as a result of the pandemic and reduced footfall into the town centre, following the move to home-working and the rise of online shopping.
So which shops have closed for good this year and why?
The mother and baby store at Copdock Interchange closed its doors back in January after the chain fell into administration and closed all its UK shops.
The closure of the Ipswich Mothercare store saw the loss of 16 full-time jobs and 24 part-time jobs.
Boots in the Buttermarket
The last original store in the Buttermarket Centre closed down in July - dealing the town a new blow.
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It opened its doors on the first day of operation back in November 1992, making it the last original store left in the shopping centre.
The store merged with the larger Boots in the nearby Sailmakers centre, meaning staff have moved to that site. Nothing has replaced it at this time.
Burton and Dorothy Perkins
Dorothy Perkins and Burton menswear in Sailmakers, closed down their stores at the beginning of the year.
They have since been replaced by the German shoe retailer Deichmann, which has taken over the Tavern Street store.
The move came after Ipswich Borough Assets (IBA), a company owned by the borough council, triggered a break clause in parent company Arcadia's lease.
The stationery chain closed down in April, giving customers huge reductions in the days before with most items having 30% off.
Paperchase opened its Ipswich town centre store nearly 10 years ago, during 2010.
It also has a concession store within Next Home at Martlesham Heath, and shops in Bury St Edmunds, Colchester and Chelmsford.
Whittard of Chelsea
The tea and coffee shop left the town centre in February, with the manager of the shop Reuben Smy saying it was a "complete shock".
The closest branches of Whittard's are now in Norwich, Cambridge and Freeport Braintree.
The cosmetics store, which had been operating in Ipswich for the last four years, closed its shop in June.
At the time of the closure, Ipswich Central said they had not heard anything official from Kiko’s head office regarding a permanent closure/ However, the make-up brand confirmed the store was shut on Twitter.
The make-up chain, which was founded in 1997 in Milan, still has a store in Norwich’s Intu Chapelfield and also in the Grand Arcade in Cambridge.
Next door to Kiko Milano used to be the Hotter Shoes company, which also informed customers of its closure this summer via email.
The footwear retailer launched a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) in July and announced at that time many of its stores would close.
Victoria Betts, Hotter’s chief commercial officer, said: “We’d like to thank all our customers and our team of hardworking staff from our Ipswich and Colchester stores for their support, but unfortunately these stores are now closed."
The store in Tavern Street is another which has been closed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The upmarket retailer, which was taken over by Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group last summer, has shut a number of stores since the virus outbreak - with the Aldeburgh store also on its list.
The Jack Wills website now states that the nearest available stores to Ipswich are those in Southwold, Braintree or Chelmsford, leaving just one site left in the county.
The fashion retailer Quiz has confirmed it will not be reopening its store in the Sailmakers shopping centre, Ipswich, after it was closed for many months as a result of Covid.
In June, the retailer put its business into administration with the loss of 93 jobs.
Edinburgh Woollen Mill
Workers were seen clearing out the store at the end of October, after many months of 'closing down' sale signs appearing in the shop window.
Owners of the struggling Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group, who also own Peacocks, reported in October that they had earmarked 50 stores for closure.
In November, they confirmed that the Edinburgh Woollen Mill had fallen into administration.
The store, which opened in 2012 in the ground floor of the Corn Exchange, closed on December 6, putting 16 people at risk of redundancy.
A review of the company’s store estate found that challenging trading conditions meant the store was difficult to make profitable in the long-term.
In response to the news, Terry Hunt, chairman of Ipswich Vision, said: “It’s one of the symptoms of the fact that so many people are working from home.
“The little Waitrose was very much geared towards people popping in for a sandwich or a coffee at lunchtime and, unfortunately, those office workers are by and large not at their desks at the moment."
The store in the Buttermarket closed at the beginning of the year.
The Jessops chain is owned by Dragons Den star Peter Jones, who called in administrators for its property arm back in December 2019. It was reported at the time that loss-making stores could close, and up to 500 jobs might be at risk nationally.
OFFICE shoe shop in the centre of Ipswich also appears to have closed its doors, with it classed as "permanently closed" on Google.
The Ipswich store has also been removed from the brand's store locator.
Although not yet closed, the kitchenware retailer Lakeland has announced that it will be shutting its Ipswich shop next month in Ancient House.
Terry Hunt, chairman of Ipswich Vision, said that it was vital for the building to remain in use.