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The demise of a traditional high street..

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date

jax

jax Report 15 Jan 2013 19:46

So are you a "Stowie" then Sue? I was born in Thorpe Coombe

supercrutch

supercrutch Report 15 Jan 2013 19:41

When I was 9ish it was the mile long walk along Walthamstow High Street to get fresh food from the individual shops and stalls. A Saturday ritual until I was allowed to go to Saturday morning pictures when I was 10 ..lolol luckily there are photos online that bring back memories :-D

Bobtanian

Bobtanian Report 15 Jan 2013 19:12

I can recall my future mother in law and three of her offspring trudging to "Raffy" (an east London street Market)with 8 or more shopping bags between them to get the weekly shop.........

Bob

AnninGlos

AnninGlos Report 15 Jan 2013 11:30

We go by bus to one or other of our local towns at least once a week, sometimes for a reason, sometimes just for a wander and we see lots of other 'oldies' doing the same. Our bus is usually full. We can walk to the outlet centre by Gloucester docks and to do so have to walk through the town centre so we also visit and buy from town centre shops. A lot of shops have closed down but some others have opened, we have a very smart new patisserie coffee shop just opene plus a B&M (I think it is called), a bit like Wilkos, we also have wilkos. We have the usual, Debenhams, Bon Marche, M&S, BHS, several clothes shops as well as the franchises within Debenhams and BHS. We are losing Jessups and probably HMV. TK Max is due to open and the Co-op is opening a town centre store, we also have a town centre Sainsburys and Tesco. (That is Gloucester.) Cheltenham is a bit more up market having Monsoons and some more expensive clothes stores plus House of Fraser. Gloucester probably has more charity shops and pound/99p shops plus shops like cash converters.

We do have a lot of out of town centres in Cheltenham and Gloucester as well with free parking. We never take the car into the town centre.

Tesco have planning permission and are supposed to be opening in our large village. They took over the site of a garden centre over a year ago, they have to pay to re-organise the road system. So far the site remains an eye sore and nothing is being done by Tesco as far as we can see.

We have three large Tescos in easy driving reach plus three Sainsburys, Two Asda, Two Morrisons and a Waitrose.

AnninGlos

AnninGlos Report 15 Jan 2013 11:30

We go by bus to one or other of our local towns at least once a week, sometimes for a reason, sometimes just for a wander and we see lots of other 'oldies' doing the same. Our bus is usually full. We can walk to the outlet centre by Gloucester docks and to do so have to walk through the town centre so we also visit and buy from town centre shops. A lot of shops have closed down but some others have opened, we have a very smart new patisserie coffee shop just opene plus a B&M (I think it is called), a bit like Wilkos, we also have wilkos. We have the usual, Debenhams, Bon Marche, M&S, BHS, several clothes shops as well as the franchises within Debenhams and BHS. We are losing Jessups and probably HMV. TK Max is due to open and the Co-op is opening a town centre store, we also have a town centre Sainsburys and Tesco. (That is Gloucester.) Cheltenham is a bit more up market having Monsoons and some more expensive clothes stores plus House of Fraser. Gloucester probably has more charity shops and pound/99p shops plus shops like cash converters.

We do have a lot of out of town centres in Cheltenham and Gloucester as well with free parking. We never take the car into the town centre.

Tesco have planning permission and are supposed to be opening in our large village. They took over the site of a garden centre over a year ago, they have to pay to re-organise the road system. So far the site remains an eye sore and nothing is being done by Tesco as far as we can see.

We have three large Tescos in easy driving reach plus three Sainsburys, Two Asda, Two Morrisons and a Waitrose.

+++DetEcTive+++

+++DetEcTive+++ Report 15 Jan 2013 10:51

We live midway between 2 shopping towns, with a major out of town shopping centre close by.

One town has invested heavily to turn a run-down area in a ‘heritage quarter’. Yes, there are the estate agents, charity, phone and chain – store shops, but there is also a selection of family run cafes and small restaurants, butchers and fishmongers as well as a long established art supplies shop. It always seems bustling. Although the Saturday market has died a death, the undercover one is still thriving. They deliberately kept their parking charges low. (know someone on the council!)

The other one received a grant from Mary Porta, so you can guess what that’s like! One street which used to house the individual shops is all boarded up after compulsory purchase. Tesco wanted to build a superstore but was blocked on appeal at the highest level. There was suggestion of skulduggery with the Council members. Too late now. With the small shops gone, it’s a dump. The only time it comes alive is during the Saturday market with temporary stalls in the pedestrians’ area. The Thursday market isn’t worth the effort to attend.

JustJohn

JustJohn Report 15 Jan 2013 09:46

I think another factor of the demise of town centre (exorbitant rates and difficult parking certainly are real problems) is the strange hours that we work.

A couple want to shop together, but we have to get our diaries out now to find 2 hours when we can shop. Otherwise it tends to be solo shopping at end of shift or before work. And you want the safe and easy and free parking offered by out of town.

I think that may be why Sunday has become the busiest shopping day - it is often the only day that families can do things together.

Purple **^*Sparkly*^** Diamond

Purple **^*Sparkly*^** Diamond Report 15 Jan 2013 07:13

We have two large shopping malls built over the last 22 years, mainly known stores. I haven't been to the Castle Mall lately so no idea if there are many empty shops in there, but the HMV store is at the entrance, if my memory serves me right.

Chapelfield Mall is built on the site of the old Caleys/Mackintosh/Nestle chocolate factory and is easier for me to access, hope there won't be too many more shops closing down to make that place fail. It's close to our main shopping street with M & S, Bhs, W.H. Smiths, and Iceland, as well as a QD store which is now being refurbished. Apparently QD are opening even more stores so they are certainly doing ok. Started out as a local venture and spreading each year, they sell all sorts of things very reasonably. We also have a Wilkinsons further up the street from QD where our old Co-op store was. I miss that one, having shopped there since I was a child, the clothes were great, such a wide variety of all styles and prices.

I suppose Norwich is lucky that so many people stiil shop here.

Lizx

*$parkling $andie*

*$parkling $andie* Report 15 Jan 2013 00:34

My last 'big purchases' lol have been in my nearest town, in the same shop , family run which has been there since I was a child. They've always sold branded named shoes( Clarkes plus others ) and have diversified into quality sports and outdoor clothing...They had snow shovels there today!

I've bought new weatherproof coat , Barbour style., 2 pair of shoes (in their sale)..one flat loafer , other a trouser shoe {bit more stylish ;-)} and a handbag.
Not all one the same day.. I spread it out ,so hubby doesn't see it all at once on the credit card ;-)

That shop is doing well. cos otherwise the town is full of hairdressers, estate agents, bridal shops ( ??),charity shops. newsagents ,2 jewellers a butchers and not much else.

No supermarket as such, Asda is just on the outskirts of town(walking distance)

Oh yeah AnnC , Abergavenny is a thriving town ,I love it too:)

Personally I like to buy locally ,the other town..Opposite direction ,has more selection of shops .one very good Furniture shop (family run) which we usually buy our carpets from,

I guess we are all guilty of shopping out of town for convienience sake and buying on the internet..which can be a hell of a lot cheaper !

Bobtanian

Bobtanian Report 15 Jan 2013 00:27

me also, ive never been the one to buy records, just to have the latest hit........
only did clothes/shoes shopping when it was necessary.....rather than fashion.......
used local shops untill the parking was better at a supermarket...........I put a lot of blame on the arrogant councils' war on parking....they have done a fair bit of harm to high street shopping,



so mea culpa........

Bob

supercrutch

supercrutch Report 15 Jan 2013 00:07

Yep, it's an open invitation to be met at the door by me wielding a deadly crutch :-D

maggiewinchester

maggiewinchester Report 15 Jan 2013 00:03

I think I must be weird.
I work 37 hours a week, and don't drive. I usually get my shopping from a supermarket in town on my way home. There are buses to the local 'out of town' Tesco's - but they stop at 2.30 - so no good to me.
I don't shop online as I'm not in during the day.
I ususally do 'other than supermarket' shopping locally, on a Friday as I can leave work at 4pm. I like to try on what I'm buying - is that strange?
I keep local stores going!!

Unfortunately, they're dying day by day.

JustJohn

JustJohn Report 14 Jan 2013 23:54

We have several immobile people round here who still leave front door open and shout to come in. Not quite as dangerous as it sounds, as they usually have relatives in street who keep an eye open.

It must be a big problem, though, I am quite fit, yet often can't get to door in time and see van driving down hill. And if you leave notices pinned to the door, is that an open invitation.

Anyway, I could write a book about Tesco and planning, but think it might affect my little Tesco pension :-D I will just say that there are wealthy people in councils and leave it there. One thing Tesco were always better than opposition was forecasting sales. They had a brilliant computer model till I left in 1990 that was always incredibly close to what they would sell per department in a new store. And they knew which stores would subsequently close around that new location

AnnCardiff

AnnCardiff Report 14 Jan 2013 23:52

Tesco are taking over the world!!!!

supercrutch

supercrutch Report 14 Jan 2013 23:43

Jax have the same problem, I have a note which I stick on front door which asks delivery person to give me time to open the door ;-)

In our little town pop 4000, Greggs have just opened. We had 4 very small independent bakers and sandwich/baguette shops which were popular for lunches. They will be struggling now, there are not enough shoppers to go around :-(

It looks so poor when you drive through but there is plenty of money in the area but all spent in the large edge of town store. That store was the most profitable branch in the UK! Yes it's Tesco! Sainsburys applied for a store at the opposite end of town and guess who managed to block the approval?

I don't think my grandchildren will enjoy a shopping experience unless they visit cities.

Kay????

Kay???? Report 14 Jan 2013 23:22


All in superstores what sells almost everything is the future,,,,,,,places like Asda will rule all retail.

Family run are just about a thing of the past and high street shops are just floored by rates and taxes,vat,insurances etc and all manner of other stuffs.....

JustJohn

JustJohn Report 14 Jan 2013 23:21

I feel a bit sorry for the older ones who like to go to nearest town centre on the bus. Now shops in towns are often more expensive because rates are exorbitant.

Most people now don't like buses and drive. So it is much easier to go to a large superstore and fill up with petrol than get wet and run in and out of several shops in a town centre.

I just wonder what would happen if there was a petrol protest again and nobody could buy petrol in a superstore or even drive to one.

And what if we had a millennium type bug and we could no longer buy stuff on line. We would return to town centres and find them boarded up or full of cash converters, money supermarkets, charity shops and estate agents :-(

Town planners need to have more joined-up thinking.

jax

jax Report 14 Jan 2013 23:18

My OH works for a well known high street store doing next day deliveries...not to homes but to the stores. They still do home deliveries but getting customers in the stores may then attract more business.
I know I would spend more money if I went out to do my food shopping than if I bought online.

I love being able to buy things online, the only problem is getting to the door before they have turned around and gone. I ordered some cheap furry boots the other day and was hoping they would turn up whilst he was home....they did but they just left them on the doorstep without even knocking :-S

JustGinnie

JustGinnie Report 14 Jan 2013 23:12

Well around this area we have betting shops, pound shops and charity shops. The few small shops we have sell more booze than grocery.
I am not one of the many who drive to out of town shopping centres but I do shop on line for things more now. I still like to go and get my own grocery though but have a bus journey or two to be able to do that.

JustJohn

JustJohn Report 14 Jan 2013 22:56

I remember Evesham being a lovely little town. Then suddenly there were 4 supermarkets.

Thinking of liitle towns like Cowbridge, Faringdon (Oxon), Hay on Wye, Treorchy. They are all at least 3 miles from a major supermarket of out of town shopping centre. They also have a cache, they are nice places to meet friends - Treorchy is a bit like that still, in its own way.

The towns I knew as I was growing up are nothing today and they were thriving in old days - Bilston, Flint, Pontypridd, Colwyn Bay, Whitchurch (Salop). Yes, the internet has had an effect - but still only a small percentage of a massively increased retail spend.