Business booming in market town

SUPERMARKET chains and national stores are facing a backlash as residents throw their support behind independent shops, it was claimed last night.Business leaders in Clare said the local economy was booming after five new shops opened in less than a year and more established companies reported good trade.

Dave Gooderham

SUPERMARKET chains and national stores are facing a backlash as residents throw their support behind independent shops, it was claimed last night.

Business leaders in Clare said the local economy was booming after five new shops opened in less than a year and more established companies reported good trade.

Sarah Barrington, a former IT consultant who opened interiors shop, Blue Dog, in the autumn said she had sensed a change in shopping attitudes since arriving in the town.


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She said: “Independent stores are an integral part of Clare and I think people are getting fed up of the bigger supermarkets.

“There seems to be some kind of backlash with shoppers rediscovering their local community for both green and social reasons. I think Clare is a good place to have a business and there seems to be a bid to encourage people to stay a bit longer.”

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Last month, the EADT revealed plans to boost tourism in the town which many hope will send visitor figures soaring and provide a knock-on fillip to the economy.

A series of guided walks around the historic core of Clare will begin on May 3 and encourage visitors to explore parts of the town and visit local shops.

Meanwhile the community has continued to show its support with shop owners bidding to make Clare the first town in Suffolk to ban the plastic bag.

David Sleath , who has owned Hudgies Hardware for six years, said: “I think it has to be a good thing that so many new shops have opened.

“The critical mass argument means you need a variety of shops to attract more custom and it all adds to the economy and viability of the town's commercial centre.

“We are fortunate that many residents are quite loyal to independent shops as they realise that if they don't use their local shops, they will lose them.”

As well as Blue Dog, the likes of Number One Delicatessen and Café, Café Clare and health food and complementary therapy centre, Naturally You, have all opened in the last year with the Natty Netty Craft Shop opening soon.

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