John Lewis in Ipswich will close their doors temporarily after business on Monday – Waitrose shops will remain open Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND
PUBLISHED: 19:00 22 March 2020 Jake Foxford
The impact of coronavirus restrictions has hit high streets this weekend – and these are some of the stores which have announced closures.
Across Suffolk and Essex, concerns about the spread of Covid-19 have left retailers have to take difficult decisions to temporarily close shops.
After Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Friday press briefing, where he told pubs, clubs, cafes and leisure facilities to close as soon as possible, many more establishments have followed suit.
One local name now closed is Coes, which announced it would shut on Saturday night.
William Coe, managing director, said the company was “heartbroken” to close their stores in Ipswich, Felixstowe, Maldon, King’s Lynn and Newmarket. It’s online shop will still be operating.
“It is with much sadness that, in light of the government advice, we have made the tough decision to temporarily close our stores tonight,” said Mr Coe.
“The love and engagement we have had from out customers and colleagues has been overwhelming and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your kind wishes.
“Where you can, please support your local businesses.”
Nationwide chains with shops in Suffolk have also announced closures, with John Lewis shutting its Ipswich branch after trading on Monday.
High street staples like TK Maxx, New Look and Primark – the latter of which has 37,000 employees across 189 shops – have also closed their doors.
More than 500 Arcadia group shops, which include Topshop, Topman, Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfridge and Burton, are closed this week until further notice.
The Fenwicks shop in Colchester’s high street – formerly Williams and Griffin – closed their doors to customers on Thursday night and have not opened since.
In a statement to their customers, it said: “As a family business, the health and wellbeing of our customers, our teams and our local communities is always close to our heart and in these times of great uncertainty we need to do the right thing for them by mitigating the potential spread of the virus.
“The doors of Fenwick have been open to customers for almost 140 years – it goes against everything in our nature to close them.
“But these aren’t normal times and we find ourselves in the unique situation where shutting our doors, for the time being, is the right thing to do for our customers, our colleagues and our communities.”
The Edinburgh Woollen Mill has closed shops across the country, including locations in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds and Colchester.
Every National Trust site in Suffolk and Essex has also closed its gates.
The decision was made on Saturday night, ahead of Mother’s Day and concerns the public would ignore social distancing advice and head to the parks.
They had closed all their houses and cafes earlier in the week.
Essex County Council followed suit and have now closed all country parks in the county.
In a tweet the council said: “We are closing our country parks from 8pm today, Sunday, March 22.
“This is necessary to ensure social distancing and limit the spread of coronavirus.”