September 16th 2010
I have just read this article http://www.24dash.com/news/communities/2010-09-15-Clone-Town-Britain-2010-escaping-the-clones really scary if your an independant retailer like us. It is something we have known for ages we all do really when was the last time you went shopping in a new city or town and actually found an interesting or different shop? If I told you a new out of town site was opening you could probably name the retailers who will be trading before they even sign the lease! Sad but true, the knock on effect of course is that it is all self perpetuating, developers seek out the chains because they can get better rentals this keeps the independants firmly at bay, once the chains achieve critical mass they do not need to develop anymore because they already “draw” customers away from smaller towns look at Chorley! The smaller towns exists then on the remaining spend which decreases perpetually and local councillors try to think of something to attract more people back to the town centres (which lets face it they are hopeless at) if they knew how to do this they would all be running their own businesses and would probably be sat on “Dragons Den. Can this be reversed? Can market conditions exist where in actual fact you can build a retail business / brand without the help of a “Dragon” because actually you can make a margin and re invest and grow? Well we think so but it gets harder all the time as a last thought is “choice” onn the high street in Britain now just an “illusion”?