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High Street Decline


Bazj
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Reading a story on the web about the decline in high street shop numbers and how major retailers are shutting shops to save money....

 

One contributor has a few good ideas and points especially with regards to the rates that shops have to pay. He cites a shop unit in Chester where a store opened, traded for a year and then the council doubled the rates (Must have been on a 50% 1st year discount) The shop went into the red and then closed. The same happened with the store that took over next....

 

The cost of having shops is far too expensive and now that most high streets are becoming full of charity shops (One street in Leigh has 12!!) Things need to change. Councils should offer the same concessions to "normal" shops that they do for charity shops; because surely they would be better off with the shop units full of proper shops not paying rates instead of charity shops not paying rates because charity shops do not buy anything in the way of stock and are less likely to contribute anything to the local economy...

 

And of course there are the parking charges..... In Altrincham they used to have free parking. They started charging for parking and suddenly the footfall to the shops dropped..... now 25% of all shops in Altrincham are empty.....Coincidence?

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Surely if they allowed businesses going into empty shops to not pay rates all the others shops would complain and want the same too though, or maybe they would move out of theirs into the empty 'non rated' ones and theirs would inturn become empty then.

 

Actually do you mean 'business rates' or 'rent rates' :oops:

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I know this has already been mentioned in previous topics but there is still the matter of prices and choice in terms of the stores stock. I prefer purchasing in stores but a lot of the time I have no other choice but to turn to my computer (or phone) to get the goods that I want. It's a shame really. I notice that there are a few in the Golden Sq. that have just closed. Poor La Zenza.

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Time to realise that the High Street as a shopping destination has had its day and is well on the way to joining the dinosaurs. Out of town destinations will ALWAYS be cheaper places for businesses to have large premises stocking large ranges of products, and will ALWAYS be able to provide free parking. Given the competition from the internet - which is a fact of life and will not be going away any time soon - retail businesses MUST be allowed to locate out of town or they will die.

 

Town centres (and many larger village centres too) need to move more towards the leisure sector and become places people go to socialise in the evenings. I am NOT talking about the way WBC has allowed Bridge Street to turn into Beruit at the weekends. I'm talking about decent restaurants, cinemas, theatres, small music and comedy venues, and yes bars and pubs - but the right sort of bars and pubs with sensible prices and sensible opening hours.

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