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Mamas & Papas in Anglia Retail Park is closing down

PUBLISHED: 11:29 14 February 2018 | UPDATED: 17:03 14 February 2018

Mamas & Papas is closing down at Anglia Retail Park, Ipswich. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Mamas & Papas is closing down at Anglia Retail Park, Ipswich. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Babycare brand Mamas & Papas is closing its store at Anglia Retail Park in Ipswich but will be replaced by a “flagship retailer”, it emerged today.

The upmarket prams and maternity wear chain confirmed to this newspaper that the store, which has 10 members of staff, will close down on Sunday, March 4 when its lease expires.

Further details behind the decision are not being disclosed by the company. A spokesman said there are no current plans to relocate the store elsewhere in the town.

However, a spokesman for Ipswich Borough Assets, set up by Ipswich Borough Council which ultimately owns the retail park, said “discussions are ongoing with Mamas & Papas for a potential relocation within the park”.

The spokesman added: “The Mamas & Papas store at Anglia Retail Park is closing by agreement of the previous park owners to make way for an exciting flagship retailer that will occupy both the current Mamas & Papas unit and the now vacant unit adjacent.

“Anglia Retail Park has undergone a total transformation and now provides an exciting mix of retailers which compliments the town centre retail offer. The introduction of this new retailer will only add to this offering.”

Stores such as The Range, B&M, Go Outdoors, and Smyths Toy Superstore have opened in the retail park in recent years, as well as Bounce trampoline park.

Mamas & Papas was founded in 1981 by Italian entrepreneurs David and Luisa Scacchetti to import nursery equipment for wholesale. The company moved into retailing under its own brand in 1998.

The business, which was acquired by BlueGem Capital Partners in July 2014, returned to profit in the year to March 29 2015, with underlying earnings of £91,000 against losses of £5.7 million the previous year.

In 2016, it had 34 stores in the UK, employing 1,245 people, and operated in 59 countries.

The company is said to be popular among middle-class parents but faces ongoing competition against online retailers and supermarkets, experts say.

A spokesman said in a short statement: “I can confirm that the Mamas & Papas store at Anglia Retail Park is to close on March 4 due to the lease expiring on the unit.”

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