Woodbridge: Boutique chain ANNA opens its eight branch

WOMEN’S fashion boutique chain ANNA has opened its second store in Suffolk, bringing its network of branches across London and the eastern counties to eight.

The opening of the new store, at 32 Church Street in Woodbridge, comes as ANNA celebrates 10 years of trading in Bury St Edmunds, where it recently relocated to a store in Hatter Street.

Founder Anna Park established her first store at Burnham Market in Norfolk 18 years ago, and now also has two ANNA boutiques in London – one in Kings Road and the other in Primrose Hill – and others in Holt, Saffron Walden and Harpenden.

The opening of the new branch in Woodbridge reflects her belief that the brand is well-suited to smaller towns.

“Market towns that are not too big yet have a great feel about them are exactly what we look for and are the perfect home to our shops,” she said.

“Even our two London shops are in smaller, quieter locations such as Primrose Hill and that suits our relaxed and welcoming style.”

The new Woodbridge store is being managed by Jo Ferguson, who has already spent several years working at the Bury branch.

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“Our priority is to make anyone and everyone welcome,” she said.

“We pride ourselves on providing a signature ANNA look, be it with our own label or the brands we search out.

“Many, many women love what we offer and we have a huge client base, ranging form 18-year-olds right through to ladies in their eighties, and by offering clothes at prices to suit all pockets, people know they can pop in and pretty much always find something to suit at a price that is right for them.

“The reaction so far has been fantastic and we have had incredible support from other independent traders in the area,” she added. “We were delighted that so many joined us on our first day and sent cards and good wishes.

“It is a great community and we delighted to now be part of that.”

Anna Park, who was born at Exning, near Newmarket, worked as a chef in the catering sector before a switch of career into retailing, where she started out by opening stores for a large American chain.

She found herself splitting her time between Norfolk and London, doing most of her shopping in the capital, and she identified an opportunity to launch a business of her own as a result of people in Norfolk asking her where she got her clothes from.

The first shop in Burnham Market, which she ran with her mother, was a success from the start, and she signalled her ambition by choosing Primrose Hill as the venue for her second outlet.

Customers at ANNA stores over the years have included such well-known personalities as Kate Winslet, Jules Oliver and Amanda Holden.