Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Signs of Recession

I took an Easter stroll down into Bakewell this morning - packed with tourists at the moment, we get 2 million of them every year - yet the thing that startled me is just how many shops are now closed and empty around town.

One delightful little picturesque cobbled shopping arcade was completely shut - a fashion shop, brasserie, gift shop and art gallery all closed down, the restaurant with a sign in the window selling off all its furniture.

And all this in a town which is always swarming with people.

It really feels we've only just seen the start of this recession biting.

Even super-optimistic me was left wondering exactly what shops COULD open here and make a success of it.

I said it in my last post and I'll repeat it here - it really seems that we are seeing a tidal change away from old style consumerism - and it's going to take a lot more than a 'fiscal stimulus' to revive it.

Rachel

5 comments:

julesbrad said...

When you said the shops were closed, I initially thought you simply meant they had not opened on that day but am I right in thinking that you actually mean that they have ceased trading and closed for good ?
A walk down a main shopping precinct in a town near me was really depressing as I counted 9 shops emptied and closed down probably with little chance of them re-opening any time soon.
On a more positive note, a website I recently started (JustSauce.co.uk) made it's first sale today. Websites like this can be set up for a lot less than £100 which is incredible when you consider the rents some high street shops have to pay - I can see more and more people going this route with commerce returning to a cottage industry as in days gone by.

Agapi Mou said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Hmm, 'When you said the shops were closed, I initially thought you simply meant they had not opened on that day but am I right in thinking that you actually mean that they have ceased trading and closed for good ?'

I thought exactly the same thing. Quite a worrying thought being that Bakewell has it's population and of course approx 2million tourists/visitors a year.

The question is where will it all end? I mean, I would have thought that somewhere like Bakewell could have sustained itself through local custom and that the tourism was the cream.

sirdlog

Kevin said...

It is a shame but I have seen this too in my local village a florist/video store/fruit&Veg/butchers/newsagents - Theese have gone down with sincere impact since November 08 and I noticed all theese shut by feb/mar 09..Scaring isnt it?? I think so.

We have to bite the tonque and hope we come through this in a good way, and on the upside however businesses are still making money! they are still making it...So let's all keep on hoping.

Best Wishes

MIkeB said...

I think at least SOME of what we are seeing is a demographic change - much more stuff is now bought on the internet which had its best month in nov 2008 not the high street.

That doesnt account for cafes- I read somewhere that starbucks has closed 800 stores in the USA - nobody can afford £3 a coffee.

I hope that this leads to a new kind of premises lease in which commercial landlords enter the spirit of win win partnerships, instead of the age old shafting of tenants even if theya re not making money. I for one think the "empty rate" is a good idea to force change in landlord attitudes