Why Non-Essentials Are Essential

With non-essential shops set to reopen from April 12, it’s the perfect time to highlight just a few of the independent retailers we’re so fortunate to have on our doorstep.

Perhaps you’ve wandered by your favourites in recent weeks, yearning to pop in, desperate to purchase a gift or a well-deserved treat, while owners have looked sadly outwards, longing to open their doors and get the town buzzing again. Well, that time is coming and our nonessential shops are primed and ready with Covid-safety at the forefront and smiles at the ready.


Coes is an independent third-generation family-owned clothing retailer specialising fundamentally in menswear, although within the group of six stores within East Anglia they also cover womenswear, schoolwear, formal hire, and sportswear. They have been trading since 1928 in Ipswich and 1965 in Felixstowe.

Richard Ashford, buyer manager of Coes Felixstowe for eight years, said: ”We are really looking forward to re-opening on 12 April. It’s been very frustrating to be closed for so long; our hands have been tied as far as trading has been concerned with only our website to fall back on. I am confident the local community will be chomping at the bit to re-engage with myself and the team and I honestly can’t wait to welcome our very loyal customers and friends back in store even if just to catch up.”

Coes is situated at 46 Hamilton Road IP11 7AN. To find out more, visit www.coes.co.uk and follow them on Twitter @coesfelixstowe and Instagram coes_stores

Russell Smith

David Harries and his wife Tinty are the owners of Russel Smith, a women’s clothing store on Hamilton Road which has been open for over 40 years. With spring collections due to arrive the week before they reopen, the couple can’t wait to welcome back their customers, whether they be from Felixstowe or further afield.

“Being closed for so long has been very frustrating,” David told us, “Each time we have reopened, we’ve been very busy, people want us to reopen, especially our regulars. When you’re running a business, it’s not easy being locked down so if people could come in and have a look, that would be wonderful and the best way to support us.”

To check out Russel Smith for yourself, head to 53 Hamilton Road IP11 7BB. To browse all the lovely items on offer, head to www.russellsmithfashion.co.uk or give them a call on 01394 282569.

Simone Hair and Beauty

Simone Michelle The Hair Shop offers hairdressing, barbering, and beauty treatments and owner Simone has been operating in Felixstowe for almost 30 years now. Over time, she has built a highly skilled team of hairdressers who are very much looking forward to reopening in April. Her appointment book is already looking rather busy so make that call today!

To book with Simone Hair and Beauty, phone 01394 283555 or drop her a message on Simone’s Facebook page @simonemichellethehairshop. Her salon is at 37-39 Hamilton Road you can check out her website: www.simonemichellesthehairshop.co.uk

P and K Home Interiors

P and K is an independent retail shop and online store specialising in home renovation, design, and interiors. P and K have been trading since 2018 and apart from advice and one-to-one service, owner Pauline Donnelly also offers a furniture sourcing and painting service to help update any furniture you may already have.

Pauline said: “The first lockdown was terribly difficult. I think not knowing and not being in control of my life or business caused me a lot of stress and worry. There is no doubt that without the support and custom of the residents of Felixstowe and the wider community I would not be re-opening, so a massive thank to everyone for supporting your local independents, and may it long continue.”

To check out P and K for yourself, head to 136 Hamilton Road and be sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram under @pandkhomeinteriors and visit: www.pandkhomeinteriors.co.uk

The Wool Baa

The Wool Baa is a wool and coffee shop with a bit of twist… offering plenty of yarn accessories, needle felting kits, and accessories to suit all your knitting needs, you can also grab a hot cup of coffee while there!

Just recently, The Wool Baa has moved to where the old post office used to be in the town centre, so it really will be a new era for Debby and Daren. The move has allowed the owners to extend their range of fabrics and haberdashery, as well as allowing them to add more food for when they reopen. New appliances and features, including sewing machines, will also hopefully be added to the store.

“Being closed for over half of the last year has obviously been hard on us,” says Debby. “I think shops like ours are essential for people’s wellbeing (being able to crochet has kept me sane during lockdown) but, alas, that’s not how the powers that be see it. The end is in sight and we’re wellrested and raring to go again!”

For now, you can follow everything The Wool Baa gets up to on their Facebook page @TheWoolBaaFelixstowe or drop Debby or Daren an email at thewoolbaafelixstowe@gmail.com

Of course, the few we have spoken to here are a small part of the excellent mix of independent shops and fashionable high-street brands Felixstowe is known for. If you haven’t visited the town centre or seafront in a while, you will discover several new outlets, all waiting for you to visit and excited for you to see what’s on offer.

We simply can’t wait to for them to reopen… some of us still have our Christmas money to spend!

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