Shoe shop sold

A Sudbury shoe shop, which has traded in the town for more than three decades, has been bought by a national chain.

John Cotton, on Market Hill, is to close in the coming weeks and will reopen as a Clarks store.

Owner Chris Cotton, who has run the business for 32 years, said the decision to sell up was prompted by his retirement.

“The business has been sold to a Clarks franchise and will change hands shortly,” Mr Cotton said.

“It will close, the stock will be replaced and the shop refitted and given a fresh appearance to become a Clarks stockist.”

The shop is currently running a closing-down sale, with many products being offered at half price.

The six staff who work at the store have been told they will be given jobs with Clarks.

“Although we are disposing of all our stock, it is not the end of shoes being sold from the shop and all the staff will stay the same,” said Mr Cotton.

He added that despite opting to sell the business, he believed Sudbury was a strong town and had a good future.

Town councillor Lesley Ford-Platt, who has campaigned to keep shops thriving in her role as chairman of Sudbury Market Town Partnership, said it was a “great shame” to lose another independent shop.

“I’m glad there will be another shoe provider in the town but I’m still sorry to see John Cotton go,” she said.“I always used to take my grandchildren to John Cotton and there aren’t many places where you can get good quality shoes for children.”

Mrs Ford-Platt said that it was positive news that staff would be keeping their jobs and called for more support for independent retailers.

“I admire the independents that keep going because it is hard work in retail,” she said.

“It is an endless slog and, for the owners, work never stops. We need to help them as much as we can.”

No date has been announced for when the shop will shut.