Last Christmas for Simpsons toy shop in Stowmarket

Simpsons Toy Shop in Stowmarket is closing down after more than 100 years of trading.''Pictured are Ernest Baker and his son Phillip at the shop.
Simpsons Toy Shop in Stowmarket is closing down after more than 100 years of trading.''Pictured are Ernest Baker and his son Phillip at the shop.
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A family-run toyshop that has been trading in Stowmarket for more than a century is closing this Christmas.

Simpsons Toyshop, on Bury Road, will shut its doors for good on Christmas Eve after hitting financial hard times.

Phillip Baker, 37, who owns the store with his father Ernest, 73, said it was a very sad time for the family.

“The original shop opened in the 1880s on Ipswich street,” he said.

“Then in 1935 it moved to where it is now on Bury Street.

“We have been struggling for years against the dominance of internet shopping and supermarkets.

“We just cannot but our stock as cheap as they can.

“The accountants have been telling us to close for four or five years now but we said no, mainly because of the family history here.

“We weren’t making any money out of it so have had to close the doors.”

Phillip said five employees , two full-time and three part-time, had already been made redundant and that the store was being run by himself and his father until Christmas.

Phillip said: “I can remember growing up coming into the shop at the weekends as a kid.

“I was always told I could look but not touch.

“It is a very sad time for the family. We didn’t want to close the toy shop but what else can you do.”

The store is open through to Christmas and has set up its annual grotto for kids to come and meet Father Christmas every Saturday.

Town Centre Manager Sharon Brown said it was sad the staff had lost their jobs.

She said: “It has been a tough year for retail, in fact it has been tough for the past six years.

“If a business is going on a downward spiral, often through no real fault of their own, it is difficult for them to carry on.

“At the moment it is being run by the family.

“All the staff have already gone which is obviously very sad for those people who have been there a long time.”