‘Quirky’ new Norwich gift shop will feature dance floor and DJ decks for customers

The former Ward and Wright Footwear Shop is to become a new gift shop. Photo: Luke Powell

The former Ward and Wright Footwear Shop is to become a new gift shop. Photo: Luke Powell - Credit: Archant

A 'quirky' new gift shop opening in Norwich will feature a dance floor and DJ decks for customers.

JamPot is moving into the former Ward and Wright Footwear shop on Timber Hill after it closed in February this year.

The new shop is the brainchild of John and Sam Neild, and is the couple's first venture into retail.

Mr Neild, 46, said it will stock unusual gifts, and vintage 'upcycled' furniture from the 1950s, 60s and 70s.

But it is the inclusion of a dance floor and DJ turntables which will make the shop stand out.

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'We have a set of DJ decks from the 1970s with some vinyls for people to play in the shop, and we will have a painted dance floor.' Mr Neild said. 'I'm not sure how many people will actually use it, but it's a bit quirky.'

The shop is due to open on June 5 and will sell everything from retro record players to novelty doormats.

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Mr Neild, who used to work at the Royal Bank of Scotland, said the business had been a 'pipe dream' for his wife and himself.

But it was only after he took early redundancy in June last year that they looked at pursuing it.

They have named the business after the nickname given to the London pub they used to drink in, the Jamaica Wine House.

'We've always had this dream of having a shop,' Mr Neild said. 'We want it to be a gift shop with a bit of an edge, and hopefully people can find something different that you can't find anywhere else.'

The opening comes following the closure of five independent businesses in the past few months.

They included the Rock Collection on Lower Goat Lane, The Wedding Party on Westlegate and Skatewise on St Benedicts Street.

Their departure led to concerns that Norwich was at risk of becoming a 'clone city' and was being overtaken by more chain stores.

Ward and Wright Footwear was also one of the five stores which shut between February and March.

Its owners Peter Ward and Paul Wright took the decision to retire after 40 years in the city.

They started out with a market stall outside C&A, which is now Next, in the centre of Norwich.

Are you opening a new independent store in Norwich? Call Luke Powell on 01603 772684

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