New discount store Pile It High aims to help Sudbury shoppers navigate challenging times as coronavirus lockdown eases
As the coronavirus lockdown restrictions gradually ease, a new discount shop has launched in Sudbury, with the goal of being a focal point for essentials to help people navigate the challenging period ahead.
Pile it High opened its doors in North Street for the first time on Monday, offering a range of household goods, as well as items catered to the current crisis, such as face masks and hand sanitiser.
The shop, located at the former site of the Age UK store, was set up by Matt Francis, who previously ran Modifier Clothing across the road for three years, prior to its closure in December.
The 26-year-old, who moved to the town from Essex four years ago, acknowledged it is a strange time to start a new business, but explained he would “rather be on the front foot and helping out, than sitting and doing nothing”.
He told the Free Press that he has always found Sudbury to be a great place to do business, and he believes the nature of the lockdown has encouraged people to do more of their shopping locally.
“When there’s a pandemic that’s making us stay in our houses, we find community and come together as much as we can,” he said.
“What’s beautiful about Sudbury is, within weeks of moving here, I went from not knowing anybody to being part of this amazing community, which I don’t think is shouted about enough.
“That gives me the opportunity to do this now. You realise you’re part of something bigger than yourself, which is nice at a time like this.
“Being somewhat well known in the community, people are happy to help if they can, which is great.
“The beautiful thing about this town is people are starting to open their eyes to what’s on their doorstep. When you’re only allowed one outing a day, you tend to keep it quite local.
“Sudbury, for me, has been amazing. I haven’t got a bad word to say about it.”
Mr Francis explained that part of his motivation is to provide an outlet for people who have found it difficult to buy the basics, due to stock shortages at many retailers.
“If I can help navigate through this time, that’s great,” he added.
“On a small scale, there’s a lot of people who don’t know where they can get essential items.
“If you don’t know where to get things from and they aren’t shouted about, you start to feel lost.
“We’ve all got elderly relatives who struggle to get out anyway, so if they’re out and about because they don’t know where to go, that’s a concern.
“In a time when people are queueing around Tesco and things are running out, being a friendly face on the high street is what people look for in a time of crisis. I think it helps to bring people back together.”
Pile it High is open from Monday to Saturday, between 10am and 5pm.
More by this authorThomas Malina
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