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East Anglia Future 50

Retailer says it is time to celebrate Suffolk's market towns

PUBLISHED: 16:00 06 April 2019

Huus, home and lifestyle store in Halesworth

Huus, home and lifestyle store in Halesworth

Ron Dekker

Suffolk shop owner Jane Dekker says it is time to shout out about the independent traders in Suffolk's towns.

Huus owners Ron and Jane Dekker.
Picture: RON DEKKERHuus owners Ron and Jane Dekker. Picture: RON DEKKER

Independents are the life blood of our high streets, she said, at a time when larger retailers are struggling.

Her family-run independent home and lifestyle store Huus, in Halesworth, has been chosen as a finalist in the national Greats Gift Retailers Awards.

The store, in the main part of the former HSBC Bank in The Thoroughfare, was launched by Mrs Dekker and her husband Ron in November 2017, with the intention of bringing something different to Suffolk.

They developed Huus, sourcing a range of furniture, lighting, kitchen and home accessories from Holland, Scandinavia and across the UK.

Huus, home and lifestyle in Halesworth
Picture: RON DEKKERHuus, home and lifestyle in Halesworth Picture: RON DEKKER

The couple moved to Suffolk from Scotland for family reasons where they ran other retail businesses and an art gallery.

Mrs Dekker explained: “We were looking to try and start a business that would be good for the local area and work well in Suffolk.

“Homes and interiors are something we have always been interested in. It would not have worked in Scotland but we thought the concept would work here, We looked at how Dutch businesses worked and to Scandinavia and the UK for sourcing products and then tried to find the right premises.

“This is a really fabulous building. It is five-and-a-half metres high. We have to have a special scaffolding arrangement in the middle to display our lighting.

“We look to have products that are not found anywhere else in East Anglia, and from some people who do not sell online. Bringing something different and unique to the high street.”

Among their suppliers is local craftsman Tony Croucher of Storm Furniture, who makes bespoke lighting and furniture pieces.

She said it is time for the high streets in our market towns to shout out about what they were offering.

She said: “There are some great independent business in Halesworth and we are all promoting the town as a destination. There are great shops and cafes and restaurants. Independent business like Focus Organic, Banyan clothing and Halesworth Bookshop as well as cafes and restaurants.

“Halesworth is not a dying town, in fact it is very much alive. Our high streets have a brilliant mix of good independent shops,”

Huus has been short-listed as a finalist in the best newcomer section of the Great Gift Retailer Awards. The winners will be announced in May.

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