The owner of Simpsons Toy Shop in Stowmarket has said he will be forced to shut because of a lack of trade. The store, in Bury Street, sells a variety of traditional toys, but has found market conditions tough for the past four years.
Ernest Baker, the owner, said it would be a “sad day” when the shop is expected to close its doors for the last time in early November. He said: “Trade has slowly been going down in the last four years and I have decided that enough is enough, but if I could find someone to put more money into it I would sell it as a going concern.”
Mr Baker’s son, Phil, said independent stores like Simpsons could not compete with people shopping on the internet. “The numbers coming into the shop have dropped; it used to be packed,” he said.
“We’ve approached staff for ideas and set up a website two years ago but we cannot cope with the big boys like Amazon for price. A lot of people get free postage and packaging – how they do that, I do not know. If we did, there would be a loss.”
He added that the town as a whole was going “rather quiet”.
He said the family had been trying to resist the option of shutting up shop and had looked at alternatives for the store but it is set to close in around two months’ time.
Seven generations of the Simpson family have worked at the store.
A campaign to save the shop has started on Facebook. People have taken to the “Save Simpsons Toy Shop in Stowmarket” page to express their sadness and to rekindle memories of the toys they bought.
If you would like to receive our daily newsflash email, please enter your email address in the “sign-up” box at the top of the page; you can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook and request a print subscription here.