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#LOVEIndependent – The House in Town3 min read

Since opening its doors, The House In Town has been going from strength to strength. This is largely thanks to its amazing customer base who owner, John Manning, credits for his success.
Passionate about offering a personalised service and vast catalogue of products, we spoke to John about why it’s more important than ever to support the local independent retailers that add colour to our town.

Hi John, it’s lovely to see you. When did you start your business?

I opened the shop back in September 2011.

How would you describe The House in Town to someone who hadn’t been to the store before?

It’s a local retail shop selling a wide range of unconventional furniture and homewares.

So what made you decide to go into this industry?

My parents have both had homeware retail shops in St. Peters Street since c. 1995 and the opportunity arose to open my own and join the street, so I took the leap!  

An edison bulb on a lamp in The House in Town

Why did you choose Ipswich as the perfect place to open your store?

Ipswich has a large population, with many surrounding villages and towns which provide a good customer base.  In addition, Ipswich has a very good tourist trade, and we get many visitors who are staying for the weekend!

Why do you believe is it so important to shop with independent businesses?

Independent businesses are the lifeblood of any town.  We provide a more personal and relaxed shopping experience which the larger chains just can’t replicate.  With constantly changing stock, no two visits are ever the same.

Your customers love what you do. Why do they shop with you over alternatives?

I like to think that my customers know they are getting a good quality product at a fair price.  We offer more individual pieces for the home that you would not find in a larger shop, and the interactive experience you cannot get by shopping online.  There are other benefits of the personal service, such as the option to have a mirror hung for you when it is delivered (by me!).

There is so much going on locally at the moment, what local events are you most looking forward to?

After the success of the pig trail in 2018, I’m looking forward to Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk this summer – especially as I have many elephant themed items for sale!

John outside his shop, The House in Town, in St Peter's Street, Ipswich. He wears a smart-casual look from Coes.
John outside his store in St Peter’s Street

For more on the fantastic independent brands in our hometowns, make sure you stay up to date with our blog this summer! Next time, we sit down with the girls from Applaud…

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