Poll: High Street shuffle could be on the cards as Birthdays set to close

SPECULATION is mounting that this year’s crisis in retailing could lead to a major shake-up on the busiest shopping street in the town centre.

Over the last few weeks Blacks Leisure has closed its flagship store in the former Croydon’s shop in Tavern Street and now Birthdays is due to close at the other end of that street.

Birthdays is part of the Clinton Cards group which went into administration last month – and the whole Birthdays chain is due to close.

However there is speculation that Clinton Cards could retain the Tavern Street store and move its main business into that from its large store on the Cornhill.

The rent on that store, in the former Grimwade’s, is believed to be one of the highest in the town centre – and administrators looking to cut costs may be keen to move the remaining business to the smaller Birthdays unit.

The existing Clinton Cards store could be an attractive location for a cafe or restaurant seeking a prime location.

The former Croydon’s store is another major shop in a prime site that has attracted interest since Blacks pulled out earlier this year.

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It is understood that the rents on this major store reflect its importance – and that landlords and Ipswich Central bosses are hoping to attract a prestigious store to such a prominent location.

Carole Jones, the borough’s economic development spokeswoman, said: “Despite the current economic recession, Ipswich is in a strong position to buck this trend. We are working hard with our partners to maintain and enhance Ipswich’s position as a regional retail hub.”

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