Family store closure is huge blow to town’s high street

Coes Menswear in Lowestoft. Picture: Mark Boggis

Coes Menswear in Lowestoft. Picture: Mark Boggis - Credit: Archant

A prestigious menswear retailer is set to shut its doors in Lowestoft after 50 years of trading.

Lowestoft menswear shop Coes is set to close in May. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Lowestoft menswear shop Coes is set to close in May. PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Having been a much-loved feature of the town centre for decades, Coes of Lowestoft will close in early May.

Waveney MP Peter Aldous said it is a 'massive blow' to the high street – coming just weeks after Claire's and The Body Shop closed in Lowestoft town centre and Beales department store announced it will close in April.

The family retail chain, which also has branches in Felixstowe, Maldon and Ipswich as well as associated shops and online shopping, blamed winter disruptions from emergency roadworks, infrastruture and accessibility issues.

Peter Hubka, Coes director, said: 'Having traded in Lowestoft for 50 years it is with great regret that we are announcing the permanent closure of our Lowestoft branch early in May.'

Coes in Lowestoft is set to close its doors in May.

Coes in Lowestoft is set to close its doors in May. - Credit: Archant

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Coes – based at The Old Clapham Arms in Bevan Street East – will be closing temporarily at 5.30pm on March 23 to prepare for their closing down sale, which starts on April 5.

As well as clearing stock from their Lowestoft shop, they will also bring stock in from all their shops and warehouse – featuring a range of menswear, as well as selected lines from their womenswear and sports departments.

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Mr Hubka said: 'This is our largest sale ever in Lowestoft and with reductions up to 75 per cent off we intend to depart the town on a high note.

'We thank our customers for their support and business over the past 50 years and hope they will continue to shop with us in Ipswich, or online.

'In recent years there have been too many obstacles to trading, mainly in the form of utility work disrupting traffic at key periods of trade – in the lead-up to Christmas for example.

'There is no question in my mind that external factors are not helping most businesses today, but it seems that Lowestoft has more infrastructure problems than most and every time we build trade back up, a new utility works comes along and affects trade.

'The current number of shops closing in Lowestoft I believe confirms this.

'We appreciate these works must be undertaken, but the length and timings are the issue – it just puts people off travelling to the town.'

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