Closed North Walsham shop is taken over by neighbour

A shut clothes shop in North Walsham town centre is set to re-open after a nearby competitor decided to take it over.

Long-established women's fashion store Dragonfly closed earlier this month leaving an unwelcome empty window at the very top of the town's main street, Market Place.

But now Mair Stockdale, who runs Tatters fashion shop across the road, has decided to expand and re-open Dragonfly under a new name, 'Number One', reflecting its Market Place address.

The shop, due to open in July, will continue offering the same labels as Dragonfly, giving shoppers a wider choice, said Mrs Stockdale.

'We were devastated when we heard it was closing. I thought 'Oh no!' The closure of any shop is very detrimental to a town. Dragonfly had been there for about 20 years and we complemented each other - what you couldn't get in one, you might find in the other.

'People might not come into North Walsham for one clothes shop, but they would make the journey for two so Dragonfly's closure could have had an impact on our business,' she added.

Redecoration work is currently underway to prepare the former Dragonfly for its re-launch and Mrs Stockdale said the change would create three part-time jobs.

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She has no qualms about expanding during an economic downturn and opened a second Tatters, on St Nicholas Street in Diss, this April.

'You just have to go for it,' she said. 'Hopefully we will see the end of this current climate soon.'

Mrs Stockdale took over Tatters, established 41 years ago, in 2008 and said North Walsham had given her a warm welcome. She was especially touched by the number of people who had called in at the shop to ask after her last year when she was off for several months following spinal surgery.

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