Winch and Blatch department store in Sudbury celebrates winning prestigious industry award
A family-run department store in Sudbury has won a prestigious industry award in recognition of its dedication to promoting a women’s fashion brand.
Winch & Blatch was crowned the winner of the Pretty Polly Centennial Award after triumphing in its retail sales of the brand’s hosiery line, which marked its 100th milestone this year.
Presented at the Stars Underlines Best Shop Awards, the annual ceremony recognises retailer excellence in lingerie, swimwear and legwear.
Reflecting on the achievement, director Judith Blatch said: “We are delighted. To have Sudbury nominated among national companies is a real accolade for the staff and team.
“Legwear has changed tremendously in recent years and we try to keep up with different trends.”
Earlier this year, the business announced its decision to sell-off two of its four retail sites as part of a wider restructuring scheme.
And, with high street retailers under mounting pressure, Mrs Blatch warned against introducing short-stay parking charges in the town.
“I think it would be a big mistake,” she said. “We don’t pay to shop online, at supermarkets or shopping centres, so why would we charge people to pay when retailers are suffering for generations?”
Mrs Blatch said that, since the business established itself as an independent department store in 1945, it had attracted a loyal customer base, with shoppers drawn by the benefits of free parking.
“We get customers who come from areas like Colchester and Bury St Edmunds who say they appreciate being able to park for free,” she said. “They can pop into town, go to the bank and shop at the market on a Saturday.”
To mark the beginning of the festive season, the business is staging a customer evening at all four of its stores on Thursday, between 5pm and 8pm, which will feature a range of prizes and special offers.
Next year, the business will celebrate its 75th anniversary.
More by this authorPriya Kingsley-Adam