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Bury St Edmunds shop owner 'devastated' Christmas window attraction is unable to bring in customers during lockdown




A Bury St Edmunds shop owner who has ploughed thousands of pounds into a popular Christmas display is ‘devastated’ the attraction is unable to bring in customers due to lockdown.

Jeremy Clayton, who runs fashion retailer Javelin in Abbeygate Street, said the award-winning scheme was ‘incredibly important’ in boosting trade during the festive quarter which accounted for 50 per cent of the business.

The vibrant display, which has won the town’s best dressed Christmas window competition several times, was completed on Saturday by specialists and Mr Clayton said he felt it was ‘unfair’ their doors remained shut, while other stores such as Boots and Poundland were open and could sell their Christmas gifts.

Javelin's Christmas window display
Javelin's Christmas window display

“I was devastated. We’ve spent thousands of pounds on making our premises as Covid secure as possible,” he said.

“It just felt to me so unfair. Why are we being singled out for this new lockdown when we were just getting back on our feet after the last one?

“Something struck me when I looked at how beautiful our windows looked and the fact we couldn’t open the doors.”

Jeremy Clayton, owner of Javelin, with the Bury St Edmunds shop's Christmas window display
Jeremy Clayton, owner of Javelin, with the Bury St Edmunds shop's Christmas window display

Javelin, which employs about 40 staff, has been trading for 31 years and has a second shop, in Market Hill, Sudbury, which also has a window display.

Mr Clayton said: “We always invest heavily in our Christmas scheme for the windows and we have a reputation for that which we need to uphold.”

They anticipate a 20 per cent loss in turnover this month, having lost a further 20 per cent from the last lockdown.

Javelin's Christmas window display
Javelin's Christmas window display

The Bury site has launched a lockdown click and collect online service.

Mr Clayton, 54, highlighted the loss of Abbeygate Street fashion shops Nicola Sexton, Six Menswear and Dapper Fox.

He said: “Independent retailers are the lifeblood of the town. Bury is losing its independents at an alarming rate.

"If people care about Bury town centre, they need to support the independents through lockdown by visiting their websites and make an effort to visit them when things reopen.”

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