Do you remember shopping at Ipswich’s Littlewoods store - with its famous 99p breakfasts?
It was one of the most iconic names on the high street – but what are your memories of shopping at the old Littlewoods store at Ipswich’s Tower Ramparts Shopping Centre?
The famous high street brand was one of the largest retailers in the UK and, indeed, Europe when it arrived in Suffolk’s county town in May 1987.
When it was opened by none other than celebrity Jeremy Beadle, it had more than 300 staff working in the store and restaurant.
Sara Turner was the restaurant manager between 1995 and 2000 and said: “We saw many changes during those years.”
She said that the “queue used to go out of the door” for its value breakfast – just 99p for five items, or £1.08 for eight items.
Even by 1990s prices, it was the cheapest breakfast on the high street – and is a world away from the costs today.
She said the Littlewoods team was “always like a family”, with many long-serving staff – three of whom worked there throughout its 19-year history.
Those included the aptly-named Brenda Littlewood, who joined the store in time for its opening and served the last customers when it shut up shop for good on Thursday, January 7.
At the time of the closure, she said: “The best bit has been the team work and the friends. The worst day was when we served our last customers.”
Eventually, the changing nature of shopping led to the closure of dozens of Littlewoods stores across the UK, with the growth of the internet damaging its old-fashioned catalogue order business.
Having opened with hundreds of staff, it closed with just 29 – with former store manager Charles Culley saying at the time: “Competition from the superstores is just killing everybody.”
It later became an Iceland store.
What do you remember of the old Tower Ramparts Shopping Centre? Email your memories, including your full details, here.
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