6 shops that closed in Ipswich during 2021

Charlotte Bond/Sarah Lucy Brown/Gemma Jarvis/Archant

Topshop, Victory Mica Hardware, Lakeland, West End Music, Aldi and Debenhams have all closed in Ipswich - Credit: Charlotte Bond/Sarah Lucy Brown/Gemma Jarvis/Archant

Like towns across the country, Ipswich has seen its share of well-known and popular shops closing in 2021 - including some big brands:  

Debenhams

Ipswich Debenhams closed in May but the building's owners are now looking for alternative uses.

Ipswich Debenhams closed in May but the building's owners are now looking for alternative uses. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

The last big department store in Ipswich, Debenhams, closed in May this year marking the end of two centuries of retailing. 

This comes after Debenhams was bought by retailer Boohoo for £50million, while the building was bought by East Anglian property giant Unex Group. 

It is thought plans are to keep the bottom floor as for retail, or other commercial uses, while the upper floors could be used as town centre flats, although no firm plans have been discussed. 

Victory Mica Hardware

Victory Mica Hardware and DIY in Garrick Way, Ipswich, has now closed down

Victory Mica Hardware and DIY in Garrick Way, Ipswich, has now closed down - Credit: Archant

Previously named Richardsons Hardware, the Victoria Road shop reopened in 2019, after being rebuilt following a devastating fire. 

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However, the shop has now closed, with the owner Fevsi Hurum blaming Covid:

He said: "The reason the shop has been closed is because of Covid.

"We didn't get enough funding from the government. People didn't use it enough, If you don't make money and you are losing money, you have to find another solution."

A new business, Castle Hill Barbers moved into the empty building in September.

West End Music

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pics sarah lucy brown 20/2/11
West End Music on Norwich Road, Ipswich.

West End Music on Norwich Road, Ipswich has closed down after decades of serving the town - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

West End Music, in Norwich Road, closed after decades providing "a musical rock" to the community.

James Garden, owner of the Norwich Road store, said a number of factors had led to the closure, explaining "the lockdowns certainly haven't helped".

"We have been closed for eight months out of 12 and it hasn't been viable," said Mr Garden, who owned the shop for five years, and worked there for 17.  

Mr Garden paid tribute to Brian Booker, who owned West End Music, operating under the name Whitmores for 25 years before he took it on.

Topshop 

Topshop and Topman in the Sailmakers Shopping Centre in Ipswich. Picture: GEMMA JARVIS

Topshop and Topman in the Sailmakers Shopping Centre in Ipswich - Credit: Gemma Jarvis

Ipswich Topshop closed in January, with about 10 members of staff being made redundant while muted on a conference call. 

One former employee said: "They said that they'd been told shortly before by the administrators that it was happening, so they obviously wanted to tell us as soon as they could.

"I think everyone kind of knew what was coming. We were all on mute as well so when they said it, it just went silent."

The fashion brand was bought out by Asos following owning company Arcadia's demise, but this has not led to the Ipswich store re-establishing itself.

Aldi: Meredith Road

Meredith road Aldi is expected to close in October

Meredith road Aldi is expected to close in October - Credit: Charlotte Bond

The Aldi located on Meredith Road has closed, following the opening of a new, larger store in Europa Way, close to Sproughton Road. 

However, with the new shop more than a mile from the old one, it has been causing some residents issues. 

Whitton Councillor Christine Shaw said "I've had many people from the neighbourhood getting in touch who are upset about the closure, because they really use it.

"A lot of people walk to it or get the bus to it. People who have cars won't have a problem, but it's a real loss to the people who are vulnerable, who will suffer the most."

Lakeland 

The Ancient House in Ipswich - did it once hide a king?

The Ancient House in Ipswich - did it once hide a king? - Credit: Archant

Kitchenware retailer Lakeland announced the closure of its Ipswich shop in December of 2020 and followed it up by closing in the next month. 

The 15th century building Lakeland was in, the Ancient House on the Ipswich Buttermarket, has since been used as a venue for Spill Festival, and in October the council was understood to be in talks with a prospective tenant, although nothing has been heard of this since.