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Lerwick town centre


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Guest Mr.Brown

I have seen customers in there but admittedly not many. I did go in to buy one of their homemade icecreams one fine day very soon after they first opened, can't mind what flavour. I wasn't overly impressed with it & wished I had got from Conochies instead. I may give them another shot though as they did say at the time that they were still refining their recipe. I would give their service credit for being friendly though. The crepe sounds tasty too. I admire anyone that tries to make a go out of a business on the street but it seems that mostly they pick specialist types of shops or eaterys. The problem I see with that is to sustain the cafés & takeaways you need enough shops (& variety of them) in the area to attract customers in the first place. I don't think most people are going to go to the street just to eat. Also although I do like & very occasionally use some of the more specialist shops, I think to get enough people shopping in the street it needs more shops selling what I would term as general wares. Ideally I would want more clothing & footwear & household goods as well as groceries (that I have mentioned in a previous post) being sold. These are the sorts of items that it is not always convenient to buy online because for instance with clothing & shoes sizing & fit can vary even within a brand so it is easier if you can try on the item before purchasing.

I don't think that it is inevitable that online shopping will kill off the presence of physical shops as in the past the shops had a certain amount of competition from the mail-order catalogues which were certainly in abundance in Shetland, but they still survived. We also have an issue with far too many companies & individuals on the internet who will either not send to Shetland, make exorbitant carriage charges or just make the whole process of getting delivery so complicated & therefore off putting. If there is an issue with a purchase it is also usually easier & quicker to deal with when it has been bought locally. I have noticed an almost automatic assumption that an item will always cost more here but I like to check this for myself as occasionally I have been surprised & I take into account additional delivery costs & convenience for myself. I would like to see some improvement in customer service as though there is good service, there is room for improvement. A little more helpfulness & good manners would be nice but the need for good manners cuts both ways. I have worked in a few shops in or near the street over the years & I have definately seen a decline in politeness from the customer. Not all of course but enough to be notable. I was brought up with the advise that good manners cost nothing so even the poorest can afford them.

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  • 2 months later...

2 many shops start granting permission to turn shops into accommodation plenty of people looking for housing the internet and supermarkets have cut the need for high streets all over the uk no point in holding onto yesterday


Something of a natural evolution had begun on the street as much as 40 years ago, with shops being converted in to offices, as they were in short supply back then.....until the Council decided to effectively ban it.


I can understand why they thought it a good idea, but with hindsight it probably was ill-advised, as while an office didn't generate the footfall of a shop, most do generate some, whereas an empty building generates none,


Offices these days are going begging and accomodation is the thing, so it would be smart if this time round they did heed market demand and let anyone wanting to convert a street shop to accomodation to get on with it. If nothing else a few more folk staying on the street can only help remaining businesses be a little more viable.

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