Sudbury is aiming to attract more national retailers after news that Majestic Wine is to open a store in the town.
Town councillor Simon Barrett, who chairs the Sudbury Town Steering Group, said the wine specialist is to open on the former Gainsborough Kitchens site, opposite McDonald’s in Northern Road.
He said: “We are looking, in the longer term, for retailers who want to invest in the town. A retail report by Babergh District Council showed that we have an audience of 98,000 people within a 10 to 15-mile radius of Sudbury.
“There are 28,000 people who shop on a regular basis in the town and we want to increase that share in the future.
“We’ve had Sports Direct arrive recently and we know that Pizza Express is coming to take over Ask, which is good, and now we have another national retailer in Majestic Wine. Sudbury has a good market for retailers to tap into.”
He said major chains did not always see the benefit of coming to Sudbury.
“There are some problems which deter the bigger retailers from coming to the town, for example the right sort of retail units, and we are hoping in the future that somewhere like Hamilton Road might be a good option for them,” he said.
The steering group consists of town councillors Nigel Bennett, Jack Owen, county councillor Colin Spence, Chris Storey, from the chamber of commerce, and Lesley Ford-Platt, chairman of the Sudbury Market Town Partnership.
Mr Barrett said the group’s remit was to look at improving prospects for the Market Hill and Hamilton Road areas.
“We have got to stimulate people to come into Sudbury and promote the town centre as a great place to shop,” he said.
Lesley Ford-Platt said the town worked best with a mix of independent stores and national retailers.
“The great thing about independents, of course, is that they really know their customers and can spend the time of day,” she said.
“Anything we can do to encourage retailers to come to the town we should do. It’s absolutely vital.”