Poll: “Marmite” store on the way as Tesco is set to take over iconic Ipswich town centre site

Former Croydons building that may become a Tesco store. Former Croydons building that may become a Tesco store.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014
2:59 PM

Britain’s biggest retailer is set to move into one of the best-known stores in the heart of Ipswich.

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Tesco is set to create a new “Express” store in the Tavern Street site that was previously the home of iconic jewellers Croydons.

The move will not require planning permission because it is already a shop, but Tesco has had to apply to the borough council for a drinks licence to sell alcohol.

This says that its opening hours will be 8am to 11pm seven days a week.

The application will be considered by the borough’s licencing committee sometime after July 14 – but it would be a major surprise if it was turned down.

It is understood that Tesco would only use the ground floor of the former jewellers’ shop, which had also been a branch of outdoor retailers Blacks in recent years, but the first floor would be used for storage and staff accommodation.

The company was not able to say how many jobs would be created by the new store – but the new Tesco Express stores that opened in Foxhall Road and Norwich Road at the end of last year created about 30 jobs between them.

The timescale for the opening of the store has not been revealed, but it is expected that it could be trading during the autumn.

Ipswich council leader David Ellesmere said the new store was bound to divide opinion in the town: “This will certainly be a ‘Marmite’ application – people either love Tesco or hate them.

“But given that it will bring an important store in the town centre back to life and it will create a number of jobs then that has to be welcomed.

“And it will complement the town centre, not be a threat to it as their proposed huge store at Grafton Way would have been.”

Mr Ellesmere said it would also be a boost for the night-time economy: “Given that it will have long opening hours, like the Little Waitrose, it will help to stimulate the town centre night-time economy which is currently dominated by pubs and restaurants.”

He said it would also help to encourage more people to move into flats and houses in the town centre.

No one from Tesco was able to give any details about the proposed opening – but the company is looking to develop more smaller stores as shoppers have turned away from superstores over recent years.

It had spent several years on planning a major new store at Grafton Way which would have been the centrepiece of a major development including hotels, homes and smaller stores.

After several planning battles it dropped those plans in spring of last year and has now put the land – previously occupied by a B&Q store – up for sale.

25 comments

  • Why is this news when it is much cheaper and easier to jump in the car and go to one of the out of town stores. Is this to keep our new found residents without cars happy or is the financial arpartheid the council has encouraged now no longer the policy?

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    Billy Knowbend

    Sunday, June 22, 2014

  • Personally, I would rather see the store occupied by Tesco than have it left empty for drunks and down and outs to sleep under cardboard in its doorways.What kind of impression does this create to the good folk of Ipswich? There are many, many shops vacant in the town and as I come in on the bus there are no less than 23 empty shops - so if Tesco's are going to take one of them then so-be-it!

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    Scooby Doo

    Friday, June 20, 2014

  • Is this store only going to sell Marmite?

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    Mike Oxlong

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

  • I cannot figure out if John Geaters comment is sarcasm or not. My answer either way is that I would rather it was an empty store awaiting an appropriate buyer than yet another supermarket. town centres need variety and as there is a Sainsbury, Iceland, Morrisons, Waitrose, M&S and already a Tesco in the town centre why on earth would we need another? our town council just do Tesco's bidding.

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    C Smith

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

  • Too true JonnyBap but keep commenting on the Star's distortion of people's true opinions and trying to restrict comments to those that mirror their own opinions. . Me? I'm absolutely delighted that Tesco's are putting this site to use and very pleased that all the supermarkets are opening local stores which give a much better service than the 'traditional' scruffy corner shop.

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    Gobby

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

  • "The company was not able to say how many jobs would be created by the new store". No jobs will be CREATED by this store. It will EMPLOY a number of people, but for every person it employs, half a dozen other people locally will lose their jobs because Tesco leeches money out of the local economy.

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    beerlover

    Wednesday, June 18, 2014

  • beerbaron hits the nail on the head, if Tesco wants to come here they should lift the Carr Street end of the town by going in where the old co-op department store was. Of course, this doesn't fit into the axis-switch policy... the town seems to end past Tavern Street in the plans... so the question remains "why move B&M into the old co-op end of town?" plus "why not encourage Carr Street businesses to relocate to empty units elsewhere in the town?". Sad to hear about Memorable Cheeses going.

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    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Wednesday, June 18, 2014

  • I'm so sorry to bring distressing news to so many people. I appreciate it's far better to leave the store empty (as it has been since Blacks moved out in 2011) apart from short-term bargain stores in the run-up to Christmas!

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    Paul Geater

    Wednesday, June 18, 2014

  • so one of the towns most iconic store fronts gets turned into a single storey Tesco, this is the same council that are trying to to force B&M to move into the old Co-Op Carr street store so why cant Tescos go there if they David Ellesmere wants a Tesco in the town centre as there are plenty more flats and houses at that end of the town than in Tavern St.

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    beerbaron

    Wednesday, June 18, 2014

  • In nearby St Stephens Lane a lovely shop called Memorable Cheeses closes down.... no mention by The Star. Tesco opens yet another store and it gets publicity. Says it all really. I have to admit to my guilt in this as I used to be a regular at Memorable Cheeses but stopped coming in to Ipswich to shop last year when it was made too much of a frustration to drive in from where we live just outside the Copdock Interchange. I suppose I cannot complain at shops closing when I stop using them, but then there are obviously others who have stopped using them too.

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    Esco Fiasco

    Wednesday, June 18, 2014

  • Jeez is there no end to Tescos take over of Ipswich? how many blasted supermarkets does one town need???? greedy. And the ruin of a beautiful building. Are they never satisfied. Still the sheeple will go to it but at the expense of another shop, people only have so much money to spend and quite rightly the jobs will be few and mostly low wage part time.The rest automated. Why do they continually seem to pee people off.No other supermarket seems to generate so much dislike (me included) not 1 penny from me ever. Loathsome company.

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    C Smith

    Wednesday, June 18, 2014

  • They can't be serious! If this idiotic plan goes ahead, then the final nail in the dumming down of Ipswich town centre will be driven through the heart of what was once a proud town. Good points from Johnthebap. I have had comments (not abusive nor offensive) disallowed for no apparent reason. Archant merely hide under the word "other" in their reason for rejection.

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    Tractorboy

    Wednesday, June 18, 2014

  • Another thought: I have just been watching 'Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares' and have to admire a man who although he swears a lot, has a great set of skills in bringing around a business which is failing because, often, the owner(s) are blinkered. Is there any chance there is someone who can do the same for newspapers? We need help .... urgently! But then, the restaurants have competition in their areas .... most local newspapers do not ... and in that lies the problem for us locals.

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    Johnthebap

    Wednesday, June 18, 2014

  • I repeat again the statement made on the 'Comment's page': "We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate." and ask why is it that people here (one third of the comments as I write this) are supporting my view that our local papers actually DISABLE people from open debate? On another story on this website they have a comment box and yet are banning ALL comments; my simple enquiry as to why have a comment box if you don't want any comments (which seems so obvious!) was met with a rejection e-mail. Bizarre!

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    Johnthebap

    Wednesday, June 18, 2014

  • Robotix I totally agree with your comment, So many times we cannot leave an opinion because the paper will not allow it. I have never said a racist comment but alot of my coments never make it to this site

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    Bungay

    Wednesday, June 18, 2014

  • Tesco (meal deals) will kill off small independent traders like the Willys and Millys sandwich bar around the corner.

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    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Wednesday, June 18, 2014

  • Express stores are more expensive than their supermarkets and there's already countless Tesco Express stores in Ipswich destroying small independent businesses. There are already plenty of shops selling alcohol in the town centre and I hope the licencing committee will take that into account with their application. I had to laugh at Ellesmere's comments. Maybe the Star or Spy might want to publish the pictures of the leader of our council holding up the 'Tesno' placards he and his Labour colleagues used when they didn't want Tesco destroying any more local businesses.... Hypocrites!

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    Mister Cynical

    Wednesday, June 18, 2014

  • This stinks of Ipswich Borough Council's Ipswich Central - has all the hallmarks... "forget the Grafton Way development... come have a supermarket in the town centre"... "Sainsburys is around the corner and Iceland is a few minutes walk away." What is worse for me is how beautiful the building is. Tesco has been avoiding the town for ages... not willing to spend the rates to be here. (hence the small store on the edge of town) We don't want to be a clone town and the introduction of Tesco for merely a few FTE jobs is going to damage the town centre hampering independents - losing more jobs than created. Of course, nothing to stop Tesco going in there... which will likely mean Morrisons (who are several years behind everyone else) will look to open a store in the town in the not so distant future.

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    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Wednesday, June 18, 2014

  • Let us worry less about Tesco and other supermarkets in the area; let's debate when we will have a decent local newspaper! Just ONE will do; we don't need 'twins' both controlled by the same people scared to hell of allowing people to have an opinion. Maybe Tesco could run a local newspaper; cannot be any worse than it is now.

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    Johnthebap

    Wednesday, June 18, 2014

  • Johnthebap,most of my comments don't make it through,(racist,I think) let's see what happens to this one.

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    Tony G

    Wednesday, June 18, 2014

  • Why does any mention of jobs being created seem to justify the prospect of yet another Tesco store opening up? If 30 jobs were created between Tesco's most recently opened two Ipswich Express shops it's likely to really mean the equivalent of 15 jobs altogether as most will be part time. Not forgetting any jobs that were lost when the opening of Tesco's Norwich Road store prompted the closure of the neighbouring Co-op. Having a town centre supermarket staying open late into the evening will not necessarily generate more evening visitors - Tesco fans have plenty of choice elsewhere - but it will make it easier to buy cheap alcohol by those who would be better off not drinking. Ipswich Council may not be able to stop Tesco opening yet another branch but it could think twice about issuing a liquor licence, it may dampen Tesco's enthusiasm of not deter them.

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    lynn andrews

    Wednesday, June 18, 2014

  • You're right Johnthebap...that's when there is a comment option of course!

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    Robotix

    Wednesday, June 18, 2014

  • To say that act in a totalitarian way would not be an exaggeration.

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    Johnthebap

    Wednesday, June 18, 2014

  • This newspaper has to cheek to print about comments here: "We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.". Believe me, nothing is FURTHER from the truth. They even deleted a comment very recently pointing out their incorrect spelling of a street name! And they DEFINITELY don't like OPEN DEBATE unless it FULLY AGREES with THEIR OWN OPINIONS.

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    Johnthebap

    Wednesday, June 18, 2014

  • Better than yet another 'pound' shop but doesn't really regenerate the town centre. It's just another place to buy cheap beer in the evening which will then affect the struggling pubs.

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    Ipsman

    Wednesday, June 18, 2014

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