Retail accolade for Snape Maltings

SNAPE Maltings has been named as Britain’s Best Independent Department Store.

The retail complex by the Rive Alde, between Aldeburgh and Woodbridge, picked up the accolade at the Britain’s Best Retailer Awards, organised by Housewares and DIY magazine and held this year in Manchester.

Accepting the award, Alesha Gooderham, whose family owns Snape Maltings, said: “It is a fabulous testimony to our entire team and the immense support of our customers.

“On awarding us first place the judges recognised that Snape Maltings is a unique shopping experience in Britain.

“The events such as our Roald Dahl weekend, farmers markets, resident artists and Father Christmas’s arrival by barge, our position on the Suffolk coast and the quality and range of unique products set us apart.”

Snape Maltings has steadily extended its shops and offerings over the 45 years since it was first purchased by the Gooderham family as a disused maltings building.

It has become a leading destination on the Suffolk Heritage Coast, receiving more than 500,000 visitors a year and currently employing a team of more than 90 full-time and part-time workers.

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The first major development was the now world-famous concert hall, with the first retail element being added in 1971 in the form of a craft shop, bringing together a variety of locally made art and craft.

This year, Father Christmas and his reindeer will be in residence every weekend in December, with Santa making his arrival by barge on Sunday, December 19.

A Christmas Farmers Market will take place the previous day, from 9.30am to 12.30pm.