Argos and Poundland to close their doors in North Street, Sudbury

North Street in Sudbury, taken in 2015. Picture: Phil Morley.

North Street in Sudbury, taken in 2015. Picture: Phil Morley. - Credit: Archant

North Street in Sudbury is to lose its Argos and Poundland stores in quick succession.

The Pantry farm shop which opened in November in North Street, Sudbury. Picture: Richard Marsham.

The Pantry farm shop which opened in November in North Street, Sudbury. Picture: Richard Marsham.

Two key Sudbury town centre stores are due to close over the next two months.

But the loss of Argos and Poundland in North Street should be seen as an “opportunity” to attract something new, one trader said, and Sudbury Mayor, Sue Ayres, said people need to “look ahead”.

Poundland closes on March 11, but the branch at Shawlands Retail Park in Sudbury will remain open, and Argos will shut on April 25.

Argos will open a new digital store at Sainsbury’s supermarket in the town on April 26 and it comes following Sainsbury’s purchase of Home Retail Group, which owns Argos.

There are now some eight empty shops in North Street, but John McMillan, president of the Sudbury Chamber of Commerce, felt this was a low number.

Jonathan Lidster, who opened the Pantry Farm Shop in North Street with wife Ashleigh in November, said: “Even though I think it’s sad I think the hope is it might give opportunity for something new and fresh to come into North Street.

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“There’s a number of independent shops in North Street if you compare it with other parts of Sudbury.”

He said it could be a great opportunity for larger firms that do not have a presence in the town, adding he had contacted Waterstones to make them aware of the closures.

He believes the town council need to proactively push forward and possibly market Sudbury as a destination for larger retailers.

Ms Ayres said she would be keen for a flagship brand like Debenhams to move in or a Marks & Spencer store to return to the street.

“We have to stop moaning and groaning and look ahead,” she said.

Mr McMillan said losing Argos was “extremely bad news” for the town.

“Argos is a draw to that end of North Street,” he said. “It is a problem. I think we may well have to look into that and see what actions the chamber can take and the town generally.”

He said business rates were “crippling the high street” and too many charity shops in Sudbury were making it less attractive.

“The thing is as well the big retailers are really retrenching everywhere,” he said.

Spokesmen for Argos and Poundland said there would be no job losses.