The lights are on, but no one's at home!

WHILE memories of Woolies fade away, the store's lights still burn optimistically bright.

WHILE memories of Woolies fade away, the store's lights still burn optimistically bright.

The spectre of a once booming business still looms eerily above Carr Street, but the interior remains gloomily vacant.

Like a sorry shrine to the company's thriving past, the giant red letters still flicker eagerly on every evening, yet nobody passes through the doors.

Woolworths had been in Carr Street for more than 80 years before it was forced to shut its doors in December.

The Ipswich store was one of the first in the country to close after a final day of trading at Christmas.

The continuing economic dilemma has prevented anyone from taking the premises over and finally removing the iconic letters from above the entrance.

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When receivers moved in and employees moved out of the store, somebody forgot to turn out the lights.

A spokeswoman for Ipswich Central explained the illuminating anomaly, saying: “When Woolworths closed around the country, stores closed very quickly on a national level. It was a very rapid process over a very short period of time.

“The Woolworths sign was always on a timer and has remained on a timer.

“However, from a street lighting perspective, it's not such a bad thing. It gives off plenty of light and is good for safety and security in the town.

“In the meantime, everything is being done to bring other retailers into Ipswich to occupy the store.”

The freehold of the building itself is owned by the developers hoping to one day redevelop the Mint Quarter, although business in the town centre have said they hope a tenant can be found on a short or medium-term lease to help bring life back to that area of Carr Street.

The store itself was built in the 1960s and replaced an earlier Woolworths store on the site.

WHILE the Carr Street store remains sadly deserted, national fashion chain Peacocks is set to open stores in two other former Suffolk Woolworths stores.

Peacocks is understood to be set to open in Stowmarket in August and Felixstowe in September.

Meanwhile, previously empty Woolworths stores around the country are quickly being taken over by new traders, including a variety store in Dorset called Wellworths, set up by former Woolworths manager Claire Robertson

The last Woolworths stores in Britain closed in January this year - ironically this is the 100th anniversary of the first Woolworths store opening in Britain.