New military shop opens in Sailmakers selling Christmas gifts

Stuart Mill and Becky Eaks at new The Military Unit shop in Ipswich

The Military Unit shop was opened in Sailmakers Ipswich earlier this week, by business partners Stuart Mill and Becky Eaks - Credit: Becky Eaks

A new shop selling military and camping equipment plus Christmas gifts, has popped up in the Sailmakers shopping centre in Ipswich. 

The Military Unit can be found on the ground floor of the shopping centre close to River Island and will initially be open for two months.

The Military Unit, Sailmakers

The Military Unit has opened on the lower floor of the Sailmakers shopping centre in Ipswich - just in time for Christmas - Credit: Becky Eaks

Business partners Becky Eaks and Stuart Mill have said they will then "gauge demand for a permanent shop" in Ipswich. 

Miss Eaks, 44, who also owns Bex Bait and Tackle on the upper floor of Sailmakers said: "So far there has been a big call for cadet gear - cadets can come in and try items on rather than order online.

Cadet equipment on sale in The Military Unit Ipswich

Cadet equipment has been of the best sellers since The Military Unit opened earlier this week - Credit: Becky Eaks

"The feedback so far is we do need a shop like this in Ipswich, it is convenient for people to come into town, it has been well received and we have been very busy.

"Footfall in Ipswich is getting better - town is getting buzzy." 

As well as clothing and equipment for cadets, The Military Unit sells military style clothing for adults, survival products, footwear, warm hats and gloves and stocking fillers for children.

Becky Eaks and Stuart Mill at the Military Unit in Ipswich

Miss Eaks and Mr Mill own four shops in the Ipswich area and are keen to see more independent businesses open in the town - Credit: Becky Eaks

Miss Eaks is keen for more independent businesses to open in Sailmakers and throughout Ipswich town centre. 

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She said: "Ipswich is a beautiful old market town and it is sad there are empty units but if have a positive attitude we will will draw businesses in.

"Personally I think business rates are too high, hopefully they can be re-assessed to encourage new businesses and help existing businesses." 

Miss Eaks added: "The shape of towns is changing and there are more independent businesses. 

"Sailmakers is right near the bus station and it is warm and undercover, so it would be good to see more independent businesses opening in it.

The Military Unit in Sailmakers 

The Military Unit in Sailmakers - Credit: Becky Eaks

"It's good to support Sailmakers as there is lots to see and do, it shouldn't be forgotten about."

As well at the two shops in Sailmakers Miss Eaks and Mr Mill also run a fishing shop at Hintlesham Fisheries. 

Earlier this week the second late night Christmas shopping event took place in Ipswich town centre -  retail workers said they felt people were heading back to the town centre. 

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