Independent stores in Ipswich ready for Christmas trade as Saints area of town centre is fully occupied

Independent shop owner Cathy Frost of St Peter's Street, Ipswich

Independent shop owner Cathy Frost of St Peter's Street, Ipswich - Credit: Archant

The Christmas season is crucial to all town centre businesses – and the independents in Ipswich’s St Peter’s Street and St Nicholas Street are hoping for a bumper month.

For the first time in generations all the retail, food, and leisure units along the two streets are occupied – and as the crucial link between the historic town centre and the Waterfront business owners are ready for a busy period.

Cathy Frost from LoveOne gift shop said the mix of shops, cafes, restaurants, and bars in the area was crucial to its success – and she’s hoping to be rushed off her feet over the next four weeks.

She said: “It isn’t just about the shops anymore. People can shop 24/7 online. It’s about the experience of having a day out in the town – that is where a historic centre like Ipswich can score.

“People can come in and have a coffee here (Applaud Cafe is next to her shop) and then look in the shops which have something very individual to offer.”

New restaurants and cafes in the town centre could attract shoppers away from their computer screens and on the town’s streets, especially if the weather stays mild.

In the last few weeks before Christmas, shops like LoveOne are hoping to attract shoppers who might normally concentrate on the large multiples for their business.

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Mrs Frost said: “We’ve had Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Now it’s our turn to bring in the shoppers!”