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Business celebrates 35 years on South Norfolk’s high streets

PUBLISHED: 17:11 04 October 2018 | UPDATED: 17:19 04 October 2018

June Spillings celebrating 35 years of Chix Clothing at her Diss store. At one time she had Chix shops in Long Stratton, Wymondham and Attleborough as well as Diss. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

June Spillings celebrating 35 years of Chix Clothing at her Diss store. At one time she had Chix shops in Long Stratton, Wymondham and Attleborough as well as Diss. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2018

An independent clothing company is bucking the trend on the high street as it celebrates 35 years of business.

The Diss Chix Clothing store in Market Place. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Diss Chix Clothing store in Market Place. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Chix Clothing, in Market Place, Diss, was opened in Long Stratton on in October 1983 by June Spillings and her partner Rod Dennis.

Buying clothes from Commercial Road in London they would transport them back in their Ford Sierra to their shop. Throughout the years the business grew to have outlets in Long Stratton, Bungay, Wymondham, Attleborough, Harleston and Diss although the Diss branch is the only one remaining.

Ms Spillings, 72, grew up in Diss. She said: “We opened our first shop in Long Stratton, it is quite the achievement to come this far.

“I have seen Diss change a lot since we moved here in 2004. Diss has changed an awful lot with houses being built and businesses changing.”

June Spillings celebrating 35 years of Chix Clothing at her Diss store. At one time she had Chix shops in Long Stratton, Wymondham and Attleborough as well as Diss. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYJune Spillings celebrating 35 years of Chix Clothing at her Diss store. At one time she had Chix shops in Long Stratton, Wymondham and Attleborough as well as Diss. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The work at the shop is divided between the couple. Mr Dennis does the delivery driving and documents while Ms Spillings deals with stock, staff and front of house duties.

During her life Ms Spillings has seen Diss change massively, With businesses leaving the area she thinks that the changes to the Diss high street have been caused by landlords not looking after their properties.

She added: “I think the problem is absent landlords who don’t worry about the appearance of their shop fronts.

“Hopefully we can get some sponsorship to put some flowers along Mere Street and bring it up to speed with the Heritage Triangle.

“The answer to make the high street better though is to make these absent landlords refresh their shops, with a lick of paint and clean windows. It’s the empty ones that are looking tacky.”

Running businesses in Diss is a family affair for Ms Spillings as her father, Alfred James Garman, took over and ran Lusher Brothers printers which used to be based at the Diss Mercury office on Mere Street.

She added: “When we opened the goal was to expand which we did but now I have one shop and I’m not planning to retire so it is very nice to keep it running.

“It’s a living, it’s never been a hobby but I have always enjoyed doing it and we will continue to keep on doing what we do.”

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