Several Saffron Walden businesses 'permanently closed since pandemic'
- Credit: ANDRA MACIUCA
A Saffron Walden business representative has confirmed several ventures in the town have permanently closed their doors.
Shara Vickers, chair of Saffron Walden Business Improvement District, said greengrocer’s Blue Nature, restaurant Ask Italian and chains Laura Ashley and Carphone Warehouse have all ceased trading in the town.
She said: “Saffron Walden has been extremely resilient and showed great adaptability during the pandemic. It is sad to hear of any closures, but in comparison to most towns, we have been lucky to only see a few.
“Blue Nature sadly closed their doors in September and their delicious fresh produce is definitely missed.”
She added Ask Italian is a chain restaurant that employed many local people and expressed sadness at the official announcement of its closure.
She said: “I have many happy memories dining in there with my family. It was a great place to enjoy a meal, and particularly with younger children, as they tried hard to cater for all tastes and dietary requirements.
“I am sorry to hear that it will not re-open, especially as we will all miss the great atmosphere that the Ask team worked hard to create.”
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Ask Italian did not manage to reopen after the first national lockdown in 2020. The reason given for the closure was the coronavirus pandemic.
A company spokesperson said: “We traded well before the coronavirus crisis but, like the rest of the hospitality sector, faced and continues to face unprecedented levels of disruption because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Regrettably, Saffron Walden will remain permanently closed.”
A new Turkish restaurant is set to open their doors at 62 High Street, where Ask Italian was based.
In August last year, administration company PwC confirmed Laura Ashley store closures and redundancies. The Saffron Walden store was officially closed on August 21, 2020.
A spokesperson for Carphone Warehouse has confirmed the Saffron Walden store is to remain closed.
Carphone Warehouse issued a statement on its position when the first lockdown started in March: "We are aware that our stores could experience a significant reduction in sales in the months ahead and we are modelling a range of downside scenarios and planning accordingly.
"We are ready to switch more fulfilment to our online and direct channels and we will manage our costs and cash closely."