American sweet retailer Gifted has permanently closed all its branches, leaving shoppers devastated. The retailer, which once operated six shops across East Anglia, has shut down all remaining branches after 12 years. In a statement on Facebook, the retailer announced the closure of its Norwich branch, stating that the pandemic was a major contributing factor to the decision. Gifted expressed its gratitude to the staff, the Castle Quarter, and the owner’s family for their support over the years. The closure has left locals devastated, as Gifted was a popular destination for those looking for snacks, games, and memorabilia from the USA, Japan, and Australia.
Despite the closure of its physical stores, Gifted’s website appears to still be live, offering sweet-toothed fans the opportunity to purchase items online. The announcement of the closure of other retailers in East Anglia, such as the Scope charity shop and a Peacocks branch, has added to the distress felt by shoppers. Additionally, the Centre of Retail Research has reported that over 10,000 shops closed in 2023, resulting in the loss of nearly 120,000 jobs in the sector. High street retailers have been particularly impacted by rising costs and lower customer footfall, leading many to close their doors.
While the closure of Gifted and other retailers has added to the challenges faced by the high street, some retailers have managed to expand their portfolios. Poundland, B&M, and Asda have announced plans to grow their number of stores, offering a glimmer of hope for the sector. However, the overall picture remains bleak, with high inflation and rising costs contributing to the challenges faced by retailers. As many retailers are forced to close store doors, the impact on both the retail sector and the economy as a whole is significant. This series of closures further underscores the challenges faced by the high street as it struggles to compete with the rise of online retail and changing consumer behavior.