Ipswich Coes store to open longer as shoppers return after lockdown

William Coe in the Coes flagship Ipswich store

William Coe is preparing for six-day opening at his iconic store in Ipswich. - Credit: Archant

The re-opening of shops on Monday is bringing a major change to probably the best-known independent store in Ipswich - Coes is switching to six-day operation in Norwich Road.

For the last 93 years, the store has opened five days a week to give all its staff the same working days - operating from Tuesday to Saturday. But now it is opening on Mondays as well.

Chairman William Coe said the move was to make it easier for customers who were vital for retailing to recover after the lockdowns and restrictions of the last year.

He said: "It's a big change after 93 years, but we need to be open as much as possible for our customers. We have been getting the store ready and we are really looking forward to opening up again."

Coes store

Coes has mainly opened five days a week until now. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

The company has a successful online and mail-order operation, but Mr Coe said nothing beat the experience of shopping in person.

He said: "Our customers like coming in and seeing what we have to offer and to discuss their purchases with our staff."

There were two crucial factors behind a successful reopening: "First we have to ensure that everyone is safe, and that they feel safe. I am confident that it is safe to come shopping here and that people will feel confident about.

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"Secondly, we are a store that provides special clothes for 'occasions'  - weddings, nights out, big events. We really need to see them return for us to get back to where we were.

"That is rather out of our hands - but we are hoping things will start to get going again on that soon."

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