Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Closed Shops

Nothing to crow about really, but my prediction back in April that no fewer than six retail outlets in and around Margate's Old Town and Lower High Street area were planning to shut up shop has proved to be at least half right.

Harbour Monkey upped sticks last month, and now Chantelle and Brown Sugar are closed clothes shops. All three managed to cling on until well past the original date they were given for the 'improvements' over on the seedy north side of the Ile, but not beyond what now seem to be endless, continuous, disruptive road and pavement works. Jamie, the excellent Harbour Barber who attends to the old Eastcliff barnet, tells me the rotters have even dug through his telephone cable and want £170 to reconnect him. Apparently any chance of being compensated is 'out of the question'!

(With apologies to Maisiegrace who will no doubt now call me unbalanced and a boring old cynic!)

11 comments:

Peter Checksfield said...

To be fair unless you also mention stores that have recently opened in Margate then you ARE giving a negative & unbalanced opinion (that Estate Agent opposite The Turner Thingy looks new!).

I agree that Margate is in bad shape, but you could probably find 3 closed stores per every few weeks in just about any town.

Maisiegrace said...

Not at all! It's awful what has happened in the High St. I remember at a meeting earleir in the year one of the traders asking for some business rate relief during the road works, but because it is controlled by central government, no help was available. However, I'm not convinced that they would have survived anyway. Maybe the road works were just the final nail.

Anonymous said...

It's a bad situation. However I'd have donated all the money spent by the Margate Town Partnership projects and given it to subsiding rates and rents of inependent shops: eg that awful shortlived street market on the High Street that ran on Wednesdays and sold the same things as some of the shops or just tat, and the Late and Live PAs at the Harbour.

Michael Child said...

Looking at the picture one could be forgiven for thinking it was the high street of a town in country that had been at war for several years and that a bomb had recently dropped making a crater in the road.

Millicent said...

What looks sad is the sign saying "businesses open as usual" when all the shops are shuttered. It reminds me of the scenes in "A Canterbury Tale" when the land girl walks through the blitzed area of the town.

Eastcliff Richard said...

Yes Peter - to be balanced and uncynical, I did notice one of those boarded up shops in my photo, which to be honest is a few weeks old, has now been let. I'm not sure the lower high street looks like 'any town' though. At least not any town I've been to recently.

The new pavements and stuff look nice though.

Anonymous said...

3 closed stores per every few weeks, that means by the end of summer only Primark and Rook's will be the only shops left open in the Margate High St. Even the newly opened cafes have failed and are now filled by Credit Unions. We will now see the charity shops on the Northdown road moving down to the High st as there are a few more people there? It is reassuring that Iceland has just completed a refit, and has not moved to Westwood.

Peter Checksfield said...

But at least two new stores have opened...my point is that as long as new stores ope to replace the closed ones (& not charity shops!) then it isn't such a big deal.

I'm certainly not making out that everything is rosy in Margate, just that it isn't quite as bad as some people make out.

James Maskell said...

The Credit Union moved from Northdown Road recently, so its hardly like its a plague of them...

Anonymous said...

The Credit Union looks out of place in a retail unit clearly designed as a cafe and in a prime position. And yes things are bad for traders in Margate, why else are takings today the same as January, and the local carpark empty. For a town that has a reasonable population, how many other town centres look like ours, with all the empty shops and more closing?

Anonymous said...

The leader said that Margate was looking "so good" and it was on the up - dream on .......I only go to Margate to Primark and to the bank - Lloyds closed in Cliftonville, i try to go to Broadstairs if i can. Very depressing how rough it all looks.