Friday, 29 February 2008

Ok, call me a snob, but...







Perhaps the finest retail location in Darlington, once occupied by the iconic Dressers book shop, right in the middle of our historic High Row, is changing from a Waterstone's book store to a Poundland Discount store. Purleeze!

This just gives completely the wrong message about how we, as independent retailers, want to see Darlington Town Centre develop. Obviously, having two Waterstone's stores trading 50 metres apart was unsustainable in the long run, but surely a shop of that size, in that location, could have been sold or let to a retailer which would do more to attract shoppers to the town centre than yet another "pound" shop.

My longer term worry is what will happen to the empty shops which will appear around the town as our smaller fashion stores relocate into the larger units in new Oval development when that opens in a couple of years time.

4 comments:

Bob Shaw said...

Ok Mike, as you wish. You are a snob.

Maureen Rigg said...

You are absolutely right Mike, and it's a long hard road back once you've lost those independent small shops.

ian said...

Not snobbery, just sound economic sense.
For a market town to maintain its character and vitality it must offer variety and quality.
Another pound shop, in such a prominent location, is the last thing the town needs.

Cllr. Mark Burton said...

My daughter, all her friends and many elderly people, I know, all love the pound shop. It’s bound to have ‘pound for pound’ more shoppers than Waterstone's ever had. As we all know, Amazon and other online companies have taken much of the sales revenue from high street book shops. And, besides Waterstone's themselves said it was not economy sustainable to run two shops in such close proximity... as we already have another Waterstone's just over the road. It’s good to see the building put to some use right away as I’d rather a thriving busy town full of shops than one, such as many down south, boarded up. Called in for my coffee beans Mike... very nice!