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Javelin to rise from the ashes in Sudbury

Suffolk-based unisex independent Javelin is ploughing ahead with its menswear store launch in Sudbury, despite fire damage to its nearby womenswear store earlier this month.

The 1,200 sq ft womenswear store at 2 Friars Street was ravaged by a fire in the town on September 6.

The fire started at a nail bar close to the store, known as Javelin at The Anchor, and quickly spread. More than 100 firefighters attended to tackle the blaze. Javelin has been closed ever since as repair works and insurance claims are completed.

However, Jeremy Clayton, who runs the business with his wife, Joanna, told Drapers they are determined to go ahead with plans to open a 1,800 sq ft menswear store at 38 Market Hill in mid-October. The hope is to reopen the womenswear store at the same time.

“It was absolutely devastating, but it is fortunate we still have a store. Some of the other businesses were completely destroyed,” said Jeremy Clayton.

“The early signs suggest we will be adequately covered by our insurance, but we lost a big portion of winter stock so now we are desperately trying to source replacements.”

The new store will feature a brand mix similar to the menswear department of Javelin’s unisex store in Bury St Edmunds, including Barbour, Ted Baker, Diesel, Selected Homme, Tommy Hilfiger, Guide London and Lyle & Scott.

It will have a dedicated formalwear room and a more minimalist shopfit featuring industrial materials such as concrete, sawn timber and scaffolding poles. It will also have an espresso bar from local coffee producer Paddy & Scott’s.

“We had a good start to the autumn season; there’s a lot of nice product around so it was looking very promising until the fire hit,” said Clayton. “Now we’re just working towards the relaunch of both shops, which will be quite significant in Sudbury. We’re keen to get up and running as soon as possible.”

Javelin, which won the Drapers Independents Award for Best Young Fashion Independent in 2012, celebrated its 25th anniversary last year.

Clayton’s grandfather, Robert H Clayton, started the business as a sports shop called Clayton Sports and Guns in 1953. It was run by Jeremy’s parents, Robert M and Dorothy, after that, and Jeremy joined in 1988, after which the name was changed to Javelin.

The business switched to fashion in the late 1990s due to competition from sportswear multiples and two shops – one an outlet – were added in Sudbury.

@Tara_Hounslea

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