New store set to give centre a major boost

IPSWICH: Tower Ramparts shopping centre is gearing up for increased trade in the run-up to the festive season after the re-opening of its biggest store at the weekend.

Discount clothing store Madhouse has taken over two floors of the space formerly occupied by Littlewoods department store after nearly five years lying empty.

One floor of the 50,000sq ft store, fronting the bus station, opened on Saturday, and the other is set to open this weekend with some heavily discounted ranges on sale. The two other floors which used to be occupied by Littlewoods remain unoccupied.

Tower Ramparts centre manager Mike Sorhaindo welcomed its arrival.

“It’s great news for us. It has been vacant since 2006 since Littlewoods departed. As far as the centre is concerned, it’s great news it’s now up and trading.

“We welcome Madhouse. We think it will be a big draw, especially coming up to our Christmas season.

“It has been well received by members of the public to date and we had a good trading period over the weekend,” he said.

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“Certainly from the point of view of footfall the indication is it has given us an increase in numbers.

“It will have a major impact on the actual visitations to the centre which will obviously benefit other retailers in the centre as well.”

Madhouse originally had a unit in the Buttermarket centre, then took over the former Zavvi store in Westgate Street before that was taken over by JD Sports earlier this year. The new store is much larger than any it has previously had in the town.

“It’s by far the biggest store we have got in the centre at the moment,” said Mr Sorhaindo.

“The trading potential of it will remain to be seen in the next few weeks. It will certainly suit anyone looking for a bargain.”

n What do you think of the new store? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail