Ipswich boutique closes store to go online only
PUBLISHED: 16:30 21 August 2020 | UPDATED: 16:39 21 August 2020
One of the best-known boutiques in Ipswich town centre has transformed itself into an online-only store after lockdown - closing its physical shop in St Peter’s Street.
Cake and Catwalk was opened by Lynn Turner in the foyer of DanceEast on the Waterfront and opened its St Peter’s Street store in 2015. However, like all other non-essential shops had to close at the start of lockdown in March.
Mrs Turner said: “We had had an online presence for some time, but we concentrated on the shop but when we had to close that we increased our online work. That has done very well, better than we expected so we have decided to concentrate on that.
“As it happens the lease on the building is coming up for renewal and it is quite costly having a shop. When all the costs are totted up – rent, insurance, utilities etc – it works out at about £1,500 a month.
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“I looked at how we are doing online, at all the problems there are on the high street right now, and came to the conclusion that I just don’t need the hassle of running the shop any more. I’m not getting any younger either!”
Mrs Turner and her husband Jerry have left the shop in very good condition. “It’s a lovely area in St Peter’s Street with some fantastic businesses around it. I’m sure the shop will be very good for someone else – but we’re operating differently now.”
She offers free deliveries to customers in the Ipswich area but has also built up a wider customer base after concentrating on online sales: “We’ve picked up customers as far away as Denmark and Scotland so we’re very happy with that.”
The lockdown has prompted many businesses of all sizes to concentrate more on their online offers. Marks and Spencer has this month announced the loss of 7,000 jobs across the country, mainly from its store staff, as it turns its attention more to its online business.
And delivery companies are one of the few sectors of the economy that have seen a major expansion over the last few months as more people are getting their shopping delivered – especially because many more people are now working from home and can receive their packages.
While some shoppers have returned to town centres, the numbers are still well below those before lockdown restrictions were imposed in March - raising fears for the future of high streets.
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