Ipswich Sole Trader has closed and set to be replaced by Kiko Milano cosmetics store

Sole Trader has closed in Tavern Street, Ipswich

Sole Trader has closed in Tavern Street, Ipswich - Credit: Archant

A national shoe retailer has closed its shop in Ipswich, citing the space as being “too small” to continue – and is set to be replaced by a cosmetic shop.

Sole Trader, in Tavern Street, closed its doors for the final time on Saturday, leaving its four members of staff redundant.

It is understood that staff were informed earlier this month of the closure, with one source stating that suspicions were raised after landlords began visiting more frequently last summer.

After staff quizzed the extra presence – which included people coming in to measure the store – they were told by area management before Christmas that the owners had signed a new 10-year lease. But in January, the store was listed on Zoopla as being available for rent.

A spokesman from Sole Trader said: “It’s too small for our business at the moment and therefore needs to be replaced with a bigger store.

“At the moment we are trading online and our loyal customers we have been trading with for 40 years can still visit the website for customer service needs.”

The spokesman added that the store’s four staff members – two managers and two part-time workers – were not continuing to work for the firm. But the company didn’t rule out the possibility of a bigger store being established elsewhere in the town if the opportunity presented itself in the future.

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The spokesman added: “We are always looking everywhere, and we are opening new stores in many places.

“We have store options for customers in Ipswich – their options are Chapelfield in Norwich, Cambridge or online.”

The keys are due to be handed over to the new owners tomorrow, which are understood to be cosmetics retailer Kiko Milano.

Kiko currently has stores in Cambridge, Romford and West Thurrock, but no shops in Suffolk.

A spokesman from the firm was yesterday unavailable for comment.

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