Council honours shop after 72 years of trading in Sutton town centre

Ann Cooper (centre), the current owner of the Marie gown shop, receives her plaque from Coun Jason Zadrozny, leader of Ashfield District Council, and Coun Samantha Deakin.
Ann Cooper (centre), the current owner of the Marie gown shop, receives her plaque from Coun Jason Zadrozny, leader of Ashfield District Council, and Coun Samantha Deakin.

An independent shop that has been a fixture of Sutton town centre for 72 years has been honoured by Ashfield District Council.

The gown shop, Marie, on Outram Street, which is renowned for selling high-quality ladieswear, first opened back in 1947, and has been going strong ever since.

What’s more, the current owner, Ann Cooper, who took over the reins in 1981, has now clocked up 50 years of working at Marie.

So, the council decided to celebrate the impressive milestones by presenting Ann with a plaque, which now takes pride of place in the shop’s window.

Ann, who lives at the back of the premises, said: “It was such a surprise. I didn’t expect it. But I am very pleased. It’s so kind of the council.”

The plaque was presented by Coun Jason Zadrozny, leader of the council, and Coun Samantha Deakin.

Coun Zadrozny said: “It is wonderful to see an independent business thriving after 72 years of trading.

“It goes to show that hard work and a determination to succeed pays off. We are proud to have businesses that have stood the test of time.”

The Marie building was built in 1937 and was originally a wet-fish and fruit shop. But it was selling second-hand furniture when taken over by Marie Wright (maiden name Hurt), who hailed from Selston, ten years later.

Marie, who died in 2002, handed the shop over to Ann 38 years ago. Ann freely admits it is not as successful as it once was, thanks to the advent of online shopping.

But she is still proud of the personal touch she offers, and has no intention of retiring just yet, even though she turns 67 in December.

“The shop, and my regular customers, give me a purpose in life,” she said. “The younger ladies might prefer to go to the bigger stores, but my clothes don’t turn into rags when you wash them.”

Coun Zadrozny added: ““We need retailers to continue to succeed, alongside national chains, to ensure our town centres are buzzing.

“Hopefully, Marie will remain a fundamental part of Sutton’s high street for many years to come.”