14 Suffolk shops that closed during 2021
- Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown/Charlotte Bond/Google Maps
For many shops, 2021 was an extremely difficult year, with some unable to open for part of the year, and others dealing with massively reduced footfall.
Sadly the region lost a number of establishments from family-run to big-chains in the last 12 months.
Here we look at which shops shut in Suffolk in 2021?
1. Needham Hardware & DIY, Needham Market
A family-run hardware shop, Needham Hardware & DIY closed in the third lockdown in March, after the rise of internet shopping and Covid-19 made the business "unsustainable".
The family business offered hardware, tools, homeware, gardening products, a key cutting service, paints, gifts and more marketing itself as an "Aladdin's Cave" on its website.
2. Ponden Home Interiors, Felixstowe
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When they announced their closure in February 2021, the soft furniture shop in Hamilton Road thanked their customers for their support.
The shop had been a fixture in the resort's high street for many years.
3. Turners Curtain Shop, Felixstowe
Turners Curtain Shop closed its brick and mortar store on High Road East in February of last year.
This was because the family business, which was started in 1985, has moved to become home studio based.
They can now be contacted via their website.
4. Yours Fashion, Felixstowe
Yours Fashion, Felixstowe, closed on Saturday, November 27, after a two-week closing down sale.
The plus-size women's retailer which was founded in East Anglia more than 20 years ago has told their customers that their products will still be available at their Ipswich shop and online.
5. Beccles Country Market
Closing after 40 years, the market was known for offering visitors and locals alike fresh food and ingredients from the Quaker Hall in Beccles.
The head of Beccles Country Market said effects of covid and new labelling regulations were among the reasons for their closure.
The chair of the country market, Sylvia Greenacre, said elderly residents of Reydon who frequented the market were worried about catching Covid, and had decided to shop more locally.
6. Broomvale Organic Farm Shop
Having only been open for nine months, the Broomvale Organic Farm Shop announced its closure after a drop in footfall on the lifting of Covid restrictions.
Owner Ben Goodrum said customer numbers at Broomvale Organic Farm Shop, in Claydon, fell after non-essential retailers opened in April.
He closed the shop in July, putting it down to people returning to their "old habits" of buying at supermarkets and not locally.
7. TUI, Sudbury
Like many travel agents, the Sudbury branch of Tui fell to the combined pressure of travel bans and falling high street trade and closed in May.
A spokesperson for Tui said: "As many of our travel advisors as possible have been offered positions in other stores, or in our new homeworking or contact centre teams where they continue to provide customers with expert advice and service."
8. Memories, Martlesham
Owner Pamela Gale said she was very sad when she closed Memories card shop last April after suffering damage caused by a water leak in lockdown.
She added: "It has been a terrible year for all non-essential businesses. We had seven months of not being able to trade, which was devastating for an independent shop. Then the water leak was the final straw."
9. Debenhams, Ipswich
The last department store in Ipswich, Debenhams closed in May this year marking the end of two centuries of retailing.
The Debenhams company was bought by retailer Boohoo for £50million, while the building was bought by East Anglian property giant Unex Group.
The owners revealed in October the building could be converted into a health and leisure hub with shops and restaurants on the ground floor.
10. Victory Mica Hardware, Ipswich
Previously named Richardsons Hardware, the Victoria Road shop reopened in 2019, after being rebuilt following a devastating fire.
However, the shop has now closed, with the owner Fevsi Hurum saying the business was hit by Covid-related pressures.
He said: "The reason the shop has been closed is because of Covid.
"We didn't get enough funding from the government. People didn't use it enough, if you don't make money and you are losing money, you have to find another solution."
A new business, Castle Hill Barbers moved into the empty building in September.
11. West End Music, Ipswich
West End Music, in Norwich Road, closed after decades providing "a musical rock" to the community.
James Garden, owner of the Norwich Road store, said a number of factors had led to the closure, explaining "the lockdowns certainly haven't helped".
"We have been closed for eight months out of 12 and it hasn't been viable," said Mr Garden, who owned the shop for five years, and worked there for 17.
Mr Garden paid tribute to Brian Booker, who owned West End Music, operating under the name Whitmores, for 25 years before he took it on.
12. Topshop, Ipswich
Ipswich Topshop closed in January, with about 10 members of staff being made redundant while muted on a conference call.
One former employee said: "They said that they'd been told shortly before by the administrators that it was happening, so they obviously wanted to tell us as soon as they could.
"I think everyone kind of knew what was coming. We were all on mute as well so when they said it, it just went silent."
The fashion brand was bought out by Asos following owning company Arcadia's demise, but this has not led to the Ipswich store re-establishing itself.
13. Aldi: Meredith Road, Ipswich
The Aldi located on Meredith Road has closed, following the opening of a new, larger store in Europa Way, close to Sproughton Road.
However, with the new shop more than a mile from the old one, it has been causing some residents issues.
The store has now opened as a Farm Foods, which opened shortly before Christmas.
14. Lakeland, Ipswich
Kitchenware retailer Lakeland announced the closure of its Ipswich shop in December 2020 and followed it up by closing in the next month.
The 15th century building Lakeland was in, the Ancient House on the Ipswich Buttermarket, has since been used as a venue for Spill Festival, and in October the council was understood to be in talks with a prospective tenant.