Charity shop to close after 30 years in town centre

A syndicate of volunteers from Barnados, Lowestoft scoop £129,000 on the national lottery. Shop man

Manager Angie Garrod with her partner Ray Lawrence outside the Barnardo's charity shop in 2011. - Credit: Archant © 2011

A charity shop which has been in the heart of a seaside town for over 30 years is set to close after it saw a decline in footfall.

Barnardo's, on London Road North, in Lowestoft has been a hotspot for bargain hunting in Waveney for 36 years, spending nearly 24 years under the management of Angie Garrod who has now been made redundant.

She says high rent costs and a decline in high street footfall since the end of lockdown have meant the store is no longer financially viable for the charity.

Ms Garrod said: "I think the writing was on the wall, the rent is astronomical and there has been a decline in footfall.

Staff and volunteers at the Lowestoft Barnardo's store. Picture: Contributed by Barnardo's

Staff and volunteers at the Lowestoft Barnardo's store. Picture: Contributed by Barnardo's - Credit: Archant

"The shop isn't taking any money, it's so disappointing.

"It's disappointing for the high street and it's disappointing for my volunteers.

"They have opened another shop on the North Quay Retail Park, but it's not closing because of that.

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"I think it's a sign of the times, with lockdown and Covid playing a big part in that."

The shop will welcome its last customers on April 12 before closing for the final time.

Ms Garrod added: "I just want to thank all the volunteers and customers who have kept it going for all this time, but there's nothing we can do.

"I think I'm going to have a break for a little while now before thinking about going back in, 24 years is a long time to run a shop."

Andy Burr, Barnardo’s Area Business Manager confirmed the store would be closing as it was "no longer financially viable".

He said: “Sadly, Barnardo’s has had to close its high street store in Lowestoft where we have been for over 20 years as it is no longer financially viable.

"We would like to say a huge thank you to the many staff, volunteers, shoppers and others who have supported us and raised money to support our work with vulnerable children and families. 

"Your nearest Barnardo's store can now be found at the North Quay retail park in Lowestoft and you may even see some familiar faces, as the high street store team have been given the opportunity to work in this store.”