Fat Face coming to town

IPSWICH received a jobs boost today as a clothes retailer announced it will take on up to 25 people for a new store.Fat Face, the urban clothing chain, will open in the former Laura Ashley store in Buttermarket.

IPSWICH received a jobs boost today as a clothes retailer announced it will take on up to 25 people for a new store.

Fat Face, the urban clothing chain, will open in the former Laura Ashley store in Buttermarket.

And there was more good news as it emerged that the ladies' fashion and furnishings chain could stay in Ipswich after all.

Laura Ashley has set up a clearance store in the Buttermarket shopping centre and it could find a permanent home there.


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In the mean time contractors working for Fat Face have started renovating the old Laura Ashley store and the trendy clothes retailer will open in mid-March.

The arrival of Fat Face comes after the Evening Star launched its We're Backing Ipswich campaign, designed to raise the profile of the town's traders.

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The new store will sell clothing for men, women and children and will also feature Any Place accessories.

A spokesman said: “We've chosen to bring Fat Face here as Ipswich has the type of customers who will appreciate the range, diversity and style of our product.

“We're delighted about opening a new store here and it will be big enough to showcase the Fat Face range.”

The Ipswich branch will have a mix of full and part-time staff.

Laura Ashley closed last month but has set up a short term clearance store in Buttermarket.

That is set to operate for about four weeks and if the firm is likely to apply for a licence to have a traditional Laura Ashley store there permanently.

Colin Roberts, Buttermarket centre manager, said: “We are absolutely delighted. They are applying for a long-term lease. We are keen not to lose their presence in Ipswich.”

The fully-fledged Laura Ashley store could open in two months, following a re-fit.

The Evening Star launched an appeal to revive shopping in the town centre after revealing in September that more than 100 shops were empty.

The We're Backing Ipswich campaign wants to see neglected retail areas revived and more shops opening in the town centre

What stores do you want to see come to Ipswich? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Fat Face was started in 1988 by two self-confessed “ski bums”, who sold printed sweatshirts and fleeces out of their rucksack in the Alps, to fund their skiing trips.

The first Fat Face store opened in London in 1993.

Today there are 151 stores across the UK, as well as stores in Iceland, Dubai and France, with further international expansion currently in progress.

Fat Face's headquarters - Fat Base - are in Havant, Hampshire. Fat Face employs 1,500 Fat Face 'crew' and is headed by chief executive officer Louise Barnes.

It sells clothes, shoes, sunglasses, jewelry, watches other accessories and outdoor wear.

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