Stowmarket shops leave town

TRADERS are dismayed that two independent retailers who have served residents for years have closed in Stowmarket.Angelo Smith, a traditional family jewellers established in 1876 that has served the town for years, and The Handi-wool Shop that has traded locally for 15 years, have shut their shops in the town.

TRADERS are dismayed that two independent retailers who have served residents for years have closed in Stowmarket.

Angelo Smith, a traditional family jewellers established in 1876 that has served the town for years, and The Handi-wool Shop that has traded locally for 15 years, have shut their shops in the town.

The closures come as independent businesses fear their community is already in danger of becoming deserted after a supermarket giant submitted an application to expand.

Mid Suffolk District Council is currently considering whether to grant planning permission for Tesco supermarket in Stowmarket to develop its operation on Cedars Park out of the town centre and is consulting local people, ahead of making a decision during the summer.

The extension at the site in the middle of a major new housing development would create more than 50 new jobs at the store, which wants to offer a wider range in areas including books, clothing and toys.

Pam Shepherd, who jointly owns Tuckers independent sandwich bar with her husband Paul, said: “It is very sad that two long established businesses have pulled out.

Most Read

“People are not coming to support their local shops. It's market day today and is quiet. It's a sad state of affairs.

“If you look around Stowmarket there all these new developments being built, but where are all these people? They are not coming into the town.”

But Frank Whittle, town mayor, believes the superstore is too small, there are queues, and its expansion will not harm his community's vitality.

At the Stowmarket wool and craft centre in Bury Street the retailers who ran the shop have retired and closed the shop.

And in a statement, displayed in the window of Angelo Smith in the town centre, the company said: “In order to strengthen our company, now in its 132nd year, we have made the difficult decision to close this branch and relocate the stock to Sudbury.

“We would like to thank you for all your loyal support over the past 26 years and invite you to visit us at our Sudbury showroom where we will be delighted to welcome you.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter