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Lerwick town centre


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Where does this notion come from that the SIC have any control or influence over what retailers can be ‘let in’? The simple fact is that for a sizeable majority of them, there just aren’t enough customers here to make setting up shop viable - rates, speed humps, pedestrianisation, perceived SIC inaction or whatever else aside.

 

As far as parking goes, you generally have to pay to park further from the shops in most other towns than you do in Lerwick - and I’m thinking about old yet busy and successful ones among them. In Kirkwall, you have to pay to park in the council car parks. If they’re all thriving, a lack of free parking can’t be an issue for them surely?

 

No doubt it's changes in the way we shop that has had the biggest impact on the street and other town centres elsewhere. Price and convenience isn't everybody's priority though and the key is for the street to do a good job at providing what its competitors canna.

Possibly from the notion that sometimes retailers intend to make alterations requiring Planning Permission, will seek Planners' opinions upfront and get knocked back?  Just a thought.

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I think, fwiw, it is the type of shop on the street.

 

I don't need fudge, bathbombs and earrings on a weekly basis.

 

I would like a decent greengrocers, butcher and yes, a baker.  A good deli.

 

Shops I regularly go into - the bookshop, the PO, my Bank, the Camera shop, the fish (pet) one, both chemists, the music shop, the soap one, the craft/wool shop, jewellers, Peerie shop,Bayes, newsagent, the Eastern European food shop and all the charity shops.

 

Those shops have my custom.  Things that sway me most to those shops are the way I am treated and helped - not necessarily the prices.  I sometimes just go in for a yarn because I like the whole "doing the street" experience.

 

If folk are rude, I do not go back.  There are a few on my list because of that.

 

There are lots of gift shops - they do not interest me.

 

I do believe the Street could thrive.  I don't honestly believe it is the parking.  I did notice, however, that when the Eastern European shop opened then suddenly Tesco's range of similar food tripled in size. I was very sad to see that and it made me more determined never to buy that kind of food from Tesco.

I think pop-up shops are wonderful and fill an empty space.

 

Tbh, I am not sure what the solution is.  More input and support from the local community, us, perhaps?

 

Use it or lose it.

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Tesco are scumbags in that regard one of there managers wanted to close local shops and also the co-op

That is not being a scumbag this is what is called ambition and the reason he was promoted to manager! This is the kind of staff every business wants.

 

Free Trade is what it is called,and it is not always fair trade,that is for sure.

Edited by Urabug
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Tesco are scumbags in that regard one of there managers wanted to close local shops and also the co-op

Of course he did...  That's his job but, it hardly makes him a "scumbag" and, since when has there been a law against competition?

 

Like most people here, I spend my money at Tesco, the Coop, Local Shops etc. because I can buy things at each of them that I cannot buy at the others. 

eg, I would never buy sausages at Tesco/Coop because they are "crap" compared to the sausages I can buy at Scalloway Meat Co.  Much prefer to pay the premium and get a quality(?) product.

 

It's got nothing to do with supporting local businesses.  Just personal choice.

 

What do I spend on "da street"?  Next to nothing because the street has hardly anything that I want/need and, THAT is the main issue. 

Maybe if there were fewer shops selling higher valued(?) items that I rarely need and more shops selling "day to day" items that EVERYONE needs things might change.

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Scumbags because they use their sheer size to undercut other shops then up the prices after they have driven out the opposition, Capitalism at its finest.

They're following in the footsteps of many then, the main/monopoly north boat operator of the time has done it at least once, with Viking Island Ferries or whatever they were called being the most recent 'victim' on that route. So did the now defunct NEF when anyone else tried to muscle in on their monopoly of the local animal feed market.

 

There's definitely no love lost between myself and Tesco, but if they're that bad, how come Sound Service Station and Lochside Stores survive? Personally I think Tesco are their own worst enemy as well as everyone else's with their stocking policies, stock control and dire middle management attitudes.

 

When they came here they had a not too bad range, numerous products no-one else stocked all at okayish prices. In the last year or two their product range has contracted significantly, their stock control which was never great certainly hasn't improved any with it continuously impossible to get everything you want in any one visit, prices, especially over the last months have jumped by leaps and bounds, product quality on a number of products has deteriorated, and if you try to discuss any of it with any level of managerial staff it's either 'computer says no', or a pile of flowery waffle that says nothing other than 'this is what we do, this is how it is, we're not changing, take it of leave it'.

Edited by Ghostrider
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Going by folks views on this topic, there seems to be a problem with the variety of shops on da street.

 

There are 2x grocer/newsagents, 3x charity shops, 2x shops selling cameras, binoculars, frame, a sweetie shop, 2x chemists, shoe shop, sports shop, 5x clothes shops (men + women), antique and collectable shop, DIY shop, Jewellery shop, knitwear shops, cake shop, hairdressers, café/takeaways, gift shops, pet shop, chocolate shop, book shop, etc, etc.

 

Now, that's a fair list and there is still more shops/businesses on da street that I have not mentioned like chip shops, pubs, etc.

 

So, what other type of shop or business would you like to see on da street?

 

I personally find most shops quite welcoming to go into and find their prices quite reasonable if you take into consideration the cost of renting/leasing a shop, bills and any staff they may employ.

 

There is a few shops that seems to have been lying empty for some time now that does give da street a run down look but I am sure the owners will soon get someone else in to open up with what ever business venture they come up with.

Edited by Lerwick antiques
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So, what other type of shop or business would you like to see on da street?

Spoons

Lidl

Aldi

Waitrose

Valerie's Patisserie

Apple Store

Cheese shop

Greengrocer

The Mainlands butchers back, if only for the sausages. All others seem to pale into insignificance.

 

A few less charity shops and bric a brac emporia. I only need so many sets of five glasses and fondue sets.

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I agree with Mainlands butchers and the tattie shop.

 

The cheese shop sounds interesting.

 

But places like Aldi and Lidl require large premises which are not on or near da street.

 

Don't see the charity shops as a big problem as they seem to get a steady stream of footfall and folk needs them now that the local auction has closed down, so they are basically a way of recycling goods and making some money for their charity.

Edited by Lerwick antiques
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Going by folks views on this topic, there seems to be a problem with the variety of shops on da street.

 

There are 2x grocer/newsagents, 3x charity shops, 2x shops selling cameras, binoculars, frame, a sweetie shop, 2x chemists, shoe shop, sports shop, 5x clothes shops (men + women), antique and collectable shop, DIY shop, Jewellery shop, knitwear shops, cake shop, hairdressers, café/takeaways, gift shops, pet shop, chocolate shop, book shop, etc, etc.

 

Now, that's a fair list and there is still more shops/businesses on da street that I have not mentioned like chip shops, pubs, etc.

 

So, what other type of shop or business would you like to see on da street?

FIrstly, lumping together the shops on the street and the Esplanade isn't making a fair comparison. Folk are more likely to nip in to a shop or so on the Esplanade in passing, when they wouldn't be to the trouble to 'do the street' or even nip up to one shop on it. Personally, I might use Don Leslie's, LHD, the DIY and the fish shop from time to time in passing, or even nip up the steps to the chippie or Boots occasionally, but wouldn't bother going on to the street properly regardless if there was anything I was needing I could get from there. I'd rather go elsewhere where access is egress is better.

 

As regards what kind of shop the street needs, it's not any specific kind of business per se, but any business that not only attracts new people to come to the area, but brings people back over and over again. That's the only thing that's going to revitalise the street and keep it going longer term.

 

All the shops on the street right now, as has been said before are offering products that are either occasional needs, niche or specialist interest, with a finite customer base you can only sell to so many people so many times a year, and that's the trade the street is getting right now. A book, chemist products, given the most day to day ones are available in supermarkets and most grocer shops, musical instruments, alcohol, given that there are multiple outlets island wide, photo equipment, 'gifts', jewellery, chocolate, sports gear, clothing, given that it's in supermarkets and probably the most commonly order from south items, specs/lenses etc, how many of these does the average person buy in a year, once, maybe twice, unless the few who emulate Imelda and her shoes, some fewer, and for some never.

 

It's products that are frequently needed/purchased by the majority that the street needs to be supplying to revitalise itself, not flowerpots and gimmicks. Messing around with the traffic flow under the Fort didn't help, then putting bollards at the Clydesdale was the last straw for the last butcher on the street, if Living Lerwick lobbied the Council to put things back to the way they were, there might be a chance one would give it a try on the street again, the last baker on the street closed for reasons best known to the owners, there was still demand though, as several country bakers upped their game to fill it by supplying extra bread to town shops for reselling. DId Living Lerwick lobby any of the country bakers to open a branch on the street, even possibly open a co-op shop which sold bread from multiple bakers under one roof? If they did, and failed, that's life, but if they didn't, why not? There's nothing better than day to day perishable consumables to generate footfall, so where are they going about trying to attract the type of businesses that create it, be they local based or south concerns. They surely can't have failed to notice that the businesses who seem to surviving from the current footfall best of any, are those who are branches of south firms, who can pass on some of their parent company's buying power and economies of scale savings to their customers, that now-a-days small independent outlets for mass market products simply can't.

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