Business leaders upbeat despite closures

BUSINESS leaders have played down fears of shoppers deserting a market town after two well established names announced their closure.

BUSINESS leaders have played down fears of shoppers deserting a market town after two well established names announced their closure.

Sudbury Sports and James Cox menswear, both on Friars Street in Sudbury, have said they are closing. Traders said footfall in the town was down and rates were too high.

But John McMillan of Sudbury's Chamber of Commerce said between six and ten shops were replaced every year and played down fears of a business exodus.

He said: “Businesses are always opening and closing. We have a large number of shops and to have between six and ten closing each year is totally normal.”


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James Churchouse, manager of Fat Face, a fashion newcomer to the town, said it was company's strategy to move into small market towns.

He said: “Generally business has been good. For the size of town there is quite a lot of footfall - it has been more than we expected.”

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Peter Goodchild, Sudbury Mayor, said: “We are always sorry to see any retailer closing down. Sudbury Sports has been in the town for a long time.

“The problem is will we get the shops to replace them. I think the rates are too high in a lot of places. We have lost two charity shops as well because they can't afford to stay.

“It seems it is only the chain stores, which can afford to stay.”

Mr Goodchild said the town council would like to see the area behind the Borehamgate Centre regenerated as a retail area.

He said: “Sudbury needs an overall strategy not piecemeal development - a coordinated vision for the whole town.”

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