Palmers to close its Bury fashion store
The Palmers Fashion Store in Bury St Edmunds will close in January with the loss of 35 jobs.
The shop on the corner of Buttermarket and Abbeygate Street has been sold to Bury St Edmunds based property company Pigeon Investment Management.
Bruce Sturrock, chairman of Palmers, said he was ‘extremely sad’ it has been necessary to close the store.
He added: “I tried very hard to expand our business in Bury by incorporating our St Andrews Street property into the Cattle Market development. However, it was not to be.
“This has left us at a disadvantage and combined with recession, high business rates and changes to shopping habits, the store is no longer profitable.”
Mr. Sturrock said he would be making every effort to ensure that all staff find alternative employment.
Ben Guest, investment manager at Pigeon Investment Management Ltd said: “Pigeon are enthusiastic about the prospects for Bury St Edmunds town centre and will be looking to re-let the property to high quality tenants when Palmers vacate.”
Palmers’ Homestore in St Andrews Street has planning permission for a mixed retail/residential scheme.
The details of the development are still in progress but if confirmed, work will start in spring 2018.
Palmers, which was begun in Great Yarmouth in 1837, opened its Bury fashion store in 1961 and the Homestore in 1998. It had hoped to move into the arc but in 2003 St Edmundsbury Borough Council voted to give Debenhams the prime site, though Bury Free Press readers had voted for Palmers in a poll we ran.
But when Palmers sold its Newmarket store to Hughes Electrical in 2007 it said it would invest the money in its Bury stores and gave the Fashion Store what was intended to be a £500,000 makeover, though problems saw it go £100,000 over budget.
Palmers remaining stores in Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft are unaffected.