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candoo
22nd Jan 2013, 14:25
I know they are already in trouble, too high rents to be competitive, but surely they are still in demand against global takeover by Supermarkets and on-line shopping?

What would you have on your High Street to make it worth your while to visit?

I am sick of pound shops and a certain deep freeze chain taking over the premises my favourite butcher, barber, and others used to occupy.

I applaud some of the advances in technology but on-line shopping contributes to the demise of personal interaction as well - look I'm even posting this rather than standing on a box at Speaker's Corner to make the point!

As an addendum I wrote a letter to an old friend the other day to send by snail mail, it took me ages to write and was shocked that I could not form the words as I am so used to typing, the letters did not in any way shape or form mirror the quality of personal font used in the past to write using an ink Parker.

Bugger I must be getting old.

vulcanised
22nd Jan 2013, 14:32
The reason I don't visit my local high street is mainly parking charges, plus too long a walk from the car park.

Alloa Akbar
22nd Jan 2013, 14:33
I still make a point of walking up the street to my local Butcher, Greengrocer and Wine shop. Great produce, friendly service and a bit of conversation..

Sunnyjohn
22nd Jan 2013, 14:39
The reason I don't visit my local high street is mainly parking charges, plus too long a walk from the car park.
I have some sympathy with this; I assume you have mobility difficulties. Many towns and cities have introduced park and ride schemes for this and other reasons. I am particularly familiar with Truro, Cornwall, where you parked outside the city and the bus took you right to the doors of the shops.

stuckgear
22nd Jan 2013, 14:40
well going by adverts on TV.. perhaps the charity shops on the high street could jostle for position with short term loans companies offering rates of 1758% APR, Personal Injuries and PPI claim legal firms.

:*

dwshimoda
22nd Jan 2013, 14:55
I still make a point of walking up the street to my local Butcher, Greengrocer and Wine shop. Great produce, friendly service and a bit of conversation..

Seconded. I am first name terms with the butcher, green grocer, baker, and most importantly, vintner! I find that you pay slightly more than you would in a supermarket, but I also find that invariably the quality is far superior.

Even if it wasn't I would still do it, we need to make sure local shops survive. I try and buy everything locally and use the supermarkets as a last resort.

I do have the luxury of being able to afford to spend that little bit more, and I am fully aware that many people don't have that option, so supermarkets do serve a purpose.

Internet shopping is great, but people tend to be tactile and want to see / touch items before they buy them. What normally happens is people invariably look at something on the high street, and then go and buy it cheaper online. Eventually there won't be anywhere on the high street for you to look at an item, then what?

radeng
22nd Jan 2013, 16:08
The trouble with park and ride comes when you have a lot of shopping to carry.

G&T ice n slice
22nd Jan 2013, 16:30
We at the National Social & Democratic Action Party have addressed this in our programme under point 16, I quote:

16. The creation and maintenance of a healthy middle class, the immediate communalizing of big department stores, and their lease at a cheap rate to small traders, and that the utmost consideration shall be shown to all small traders in the placing of State and municipal orders.

! Vote for the N.S. & D.A.P. !

stuckgear
22nd Jan 2013, 16:35
The trouble with park and ride comes when you have a lot of shopping to carry


oooooooooooooh! i though they were signs for the red light area !

Ancient Observer
22nd Jan 2013, 16:36
All of our local shops, such as butchers and greengrocers have now gone. About 5 years back, the butchers turned in to a chippy.

However, the "local" Sainsburys is handy, (although it might be better if it wasn't there). The "local" Tesco is a dump. I imagine that Mr Cohen's stall in Leeds market was cleaner and tidier.

Tankertrashnav
22nd Jan 2013, 16:36
I am particularly familiar with Truro, Cornwall, where you parked outside the city and the bus took you right to the doors of the shops.


Hope you came in my collector's shop in The Pannier Market when you visited, Sunnyjohn. The park and ride bus stopped just outside. Too late if you didn't though, I'm retired now!

Lon More
22nd Jan 2013, 17:55
I looked at some property in Margate last year. At a guess at least 50% of the properties in the High Street were empty although many had people selling tat out of suitcases in front of them. The reason seems to be lack of parking and a large shopping centre built just outside the town. The fact that you have to somehow get past all the traffic that that generates to get to the town probably doesn't help.

Big Hammer
22nd Jan 2013, 17:58
Butchers gone, greengrocer gone, chippy gone and the vinters. Have to go to supermarket now. For chips, a long ride to find a good one. Plenty of polish etc shops though. Mind you they don't like us brits.

Sunnyjohn
22nd Jan 2013, 18:39
Hope you came in my collector's shop in The Pannier Market when you visited, Sunnyjohn.

I'm sure I did, TTN, and I'll bet I bought an item or two. When I left, Truro still had its small shops. I hope that still is the case.

Why is there a problem with shopping with Park and Ride?

Firestorm
22nd Jan 2013, 19:28
A couple of things come to mind.

If shops stayed open until about 7 or 7:30pm that would help, that way I could drop in after work.

When it snows if shop owners or managers would shovel the snow off the pavement outside the shop so the council could put some grit down that would help. I saw pensioners walking in the road today because the pavement was too icy which can't be right.

racedo
22nd Jan 2013, 19:36
A couple of things come to mind.

If shops stayed open until about 7 or 7:30pm that would help, that way I could drop in after work.

Hmm so a shop opening 2-3 hours longer. Hoping that some people would come in when the high street is emptying would only cost the shop with 2 employees a day 250-300 a week extra............doesn't seem much but shop needs to take 600 during that time just to break even.


When it snows if shop owners or managers would shovel the snow off the pavement outside the shop so the council could put some grit down that would help. I saw pensioners walking in the road today because the pavement was too icy which can't be right.

Council will not grit pavements, they just about do the road.
Councils will not indemnify shops that clear the snow from being sued if someone slips on ice and if they did would want to charge shops even more in council atx.

vulcanised
22nd Jan 2013, 21:41
If my experience is anything to go by, Councils are no help at all.

A few years ago I opened a long-empty shop in a high street with many such empty shops. It required around three weeks work to ready for opening, but on the second day of starting work a Council bod turned up with a bill for local rates, charged from the previous day!

Gertrude the Wombat
22nd Jan 2013, 21:58
Hmm so a shop opening 2-3 hours longer. Hoping that some people would come in when the high street is emptying would only cost the shop with 2 employees a day 250-300 a week extra............doesn't seem much but shop needs to take 600 during that time just to break even.
Yeahbut, the question is, why do the shops need to be open from 9 to 5 on working days, when all the people who are actually earning the money can't go to the shop to spend it? They could close a few mornings or afternoons during the working week, those without jobs could easily go some other time.

Gertrude the Wombat
22nd Jan 2013, 22:02
A few years ago I opened a long-empty shop in a high street with many such empty shops. It required around three weeks work to ready for opening, but on the second day of starting work a Council bod turned up with a bill for local rates, charged from the previous day!
Don't understand this - you're saying you got charged from the day you opened, and got let off the three weeks you were occupying the premises but not actually trading? Sounds like a good deal to me.

(Business rates are, of course, nothing to do with the council, as I'm sure you know really - the council just provide a collection agency to central government, which is who sets the rates and sets the rules and gets all the money.)

Milo Minderbinder
22nd Jan 2013, 22:24
its not so much the decline of town centres which is the problem, but more the decline of local retail outlets in rural villages
when I was a kid, our village had

one baker (who also delivered around the village twice a week)
two butchers
one post office (with Mace grocery store) - they also delivered newspapers Monday - Saturday
one off licence (with grocery store)
one co-op grocery
one other grocers (tiny)
one sweet / cigarette shop
one blacksmith
one market gardener (cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce)
one electrical goods shop
two milkmen
mobile vegetable seller (twice a week)
mobile fishmonger (once a week)
mobile parafin, fizzy drinks (corona) and hardware goods lorry (local gypsies)
home beer deliveryman
two coal delivery men
mobile pharmacist / chemist shop(who also changed and developed camera films)
one haberdashers
one garage / petrol station
five farms where you could purchase spuds, carrot, cabbage, turnips, mangels
two pubs
on Sundays the post office was closed so didn't deliver newspapers, so instead they came from the next village, delivered door to door by pony & trap

Fortyfive years on, all thats left is
the petrol station (no repairs - just fuel sweets and newspapers)
a saddlery which doubles as the post office (and sells eggs....)
a bespoke carpentery shop.
two pubs (neither of which give a monkeys about the locals - they're just interested in the hotel / tourist / food trade)
the electrical goods shop is now a TV radio and toy museum.....
everything else has gone

None of the farms now grow anything saleable to the public
Virtually all the shops have been converted into houses for rich retirees and second homers
While the village dies because there are no locals, no families, and no children. Although the village primary school is full because it takes overspill from the nearest town - four miles away

vulcanised
23rd Jan 2013, 12:07
Don't understand this

Certainly don't ! (I could have phrased it better)

I was charged from Day 1 of taking possession, three weeks before any customers could get in.

zarniwoop
23rd Jan 2013, 12:21
They could close a few mornings or afternoons during the working week

Half day closing died out years ago because it simply wasn't practical, there's only one shop in the town where I live that does it and I don't know of any others in the local area that do.

I applied for a job in a family owned camera shop about thirty years ago, he didn't bother opening on Tuesday at all, too few customers came in and staff had to work another half day somewhere else in the week, bus fare costs the same regardless of how many hours are worked, half day closing would add an extra days commute to work.

Gertrude the Wombat
23rd Jan 2013, 14:11
when I was a kid
Yeah, and then all the villagers bought cars and started shopping at the supermarkets. No point in acting all surprised when they now visit the local shops once a year in an emergency, instead of every week, to find that they just can't operate like that.

You've done well to keep the two pubs. Many villages are down to none.

radeng
23rd Jan 2013, 14:14
When I first moved here in 1989, the village 5 miles away had a greengrocers, two butchers, a chemist, post office, 4 pubs, two petrol stations (one of them a garage), another garage, two newsagents, one chippie, a hairdressers and two general stores. We now have newspapers from the 7-1with another 7-11 at the far end of the village. No greengrocer, and one butcher who does do some greengrocery. There's two pubs, the post office, a take away kebab and burger place, an Indian restaurant, an Indian takeaway, the chippie, the hairdressers, no petrol stations and one garage.

The village the other 5 miles away has lost the pub and the post office/general stores, while it's close neighbour lost the petrol station, the post office and the general stores. It now has two pubs: both villages manage four buses a day - two each way, and the morning out and evening return are school buses.

So not only are High Streets effectively disappearing but so are village shops.

Sunnyjohn, park and ride when you need a walking stick and have three or four heavy bags to carry is a problem.

jimtherev
23rd Jan 2013, 16:28
Sunnyjohn, park and ride when you need a walking stick and have three or four heavy bags to carry is a problem.
So is having to pay 2.50 per person for the ride, having parked. Cheaper (just) to drive the further mile and pay parking fees

Sunnyjohn
23rd Jan 2013, 17:02
Sunnyjohn, park and ride when you need a walking stick and have three or four heavy bags to carry is a problem.

I'm sorry if I appear dim, but the previous argument was that it was difficult to park near the shops. With park and ride, you get out of your car and onto the bus and it drops you outside the shops. Then you do the reverse. At least, that's how it worked in Truro. How does using a car avoid a long walk with shopping bags and a walking stick?

gingernut
23rd Jan 2013, 21:25
They're mostly f*cked.

Our local Town, Altrincham, has been in some sort of Charter since the 13th Century, it used to be the place to shop.

Have many fond memories of getting dragged round the market by me'mum, looking, listening, smelling and tasting the ambience.

Now it's crap:ooh:

Who's to blame ?

It'd be easy to blame competition such as The Trafford Centre or such distractions as the internet.

The truth is, The Local Authority forced many shop owners, car owners and public transport users out :-(

hoofie
24th Jan 2013, 04:38
Local councils killed the high street. They were dying on their arse long before big out of town centres really became common.

High rates are a killer [charity shops pay nothing]; parking controls killed passing trade; the rash of massive barn-like pubs instead of smaller more intimate pubs also didn't help [thank the licencing for that one].

The same is happening here in Oz - my local council Joondalup brought in paid parking into the small shops area whilst a massive shopping centre with acres of car parking started building just across the way : End result all the local shops killed off; the place is now full of dodgy pubs.

radeng
24th Jan 2013, 09:23
Although Swindon has park and ride, there are some car parks in town. But the answer if you have heavy bags and walk with a stick is simple - go somewhere else.

In both Cirencester and Royal Wootton Bassett, there are car parks that are free for disabled blue badge holders. Not so in Swindon, so Swindon gets very little business from me.