Family store closes

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A WELL-KNOWN family run furniture store is closing down after more than 110 years operating in one market town.

Hopgoods of Stowmarket was set up more than a century ago serving household goods and paraffin to the town and surrounding villages.

The furniture store, which now stands in Gipping Way – since moving there in 1992 - is set to close after a grand closing down sale next weekend.

The shop, which is part of the Bretts of Ipswich Ltd furniture firm, is closing so that the company can concentrate on its two Ipswich shops, Bretts and Relax.

More than £1 million worth of stock, including beds, furniture, mattresses, curtains and linen will be discounted in the three- day sale which starts February 11 at 10am.

Hopgoods has been an important part of Stowmarket town since William Hopgood started the company as a horse and cart delivery service in 1896.

By the 20th century it was delivering more than 100,000 gallons of paraffin per season.

Sue and Steve Williams, from Stowmarket Local History Group, featured Hopgoods in their book about historic Stowmarket businesses, Serving You Through the Years.

Mrs Williams said: “Hopgoods has been in Stowmarket for a long time.

“The Hopgoods horse and cart became a recognisable sight around the town and the shop started in February 1904.”

In 1985, Hopgoods was even enlisted to provide furniture to RAF Wattisham for the royal visit of the Queen and Prince Philip.

Mrs Williams said: “They have still got very good quality products and it will be a shame to see it go. It’s a brilliant little place.

“It’s the same situation with the Co-op closure.”

Anthony Brett, managing director of Bretts of Ipswich Ltd, was unavailable for comment.

It is unclear how many of the staff working at Hopgoods will lose their jobs.