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Empty Shop-o-meter - How's Your Town Doing?

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BBC survey finds 41 out of 257 lie empty...I was there yesterday and my word it seemed depressed, and this is after a new Sainsbury's and refurbed Waitrose.

Maidenhead is home to numerous corporate IT and telcoms firms (like 3 and Symantec) and 20 mins to London...sadly ruined by 60s planners with four lane highway ripping through the centre, ugly commercial buildings...also flood risk!! :ph34r:

Has Maidenhead already "priced in" recession or will it get worse?

Be interested to hear reports of other towns in the UK.

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Small mall-ette in the middle of Brentwood, refurbed about 2 years ago, now has about 1/3rd of units unoccupied.

PS, Brentwood has a disproportionate number of people employed in financial/property services (many of whom will presumably soon be switching to the Personal Services sector) and must be in the running for highest proportion (vs total housing stock) of empty, new build, executive council-flats-of-the-future in the south east ;-)

Edited by General Melchett

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Alcester: One EA gone in last couple of months, small greengrocer closed recently, new undertaker where a different retailer once was.

I think we are still a few months away from the real storm. Its just starting to rain and the wind is not much more than a breeze. But as you glance out accross the Ocean toward the West you will see some very nasty looking black clouds rolling this way.

Sadly, I believe we are about to experience the worst recession this side of WW2. I just hope it doesn't deteriorate into something worse. I don't like to think it but I suspect OIL may be the source of the real trouble ahead and it may be being used as a stealth weapon in the hands of our enemies overseas. :ph34r:

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Alcester: One EA gone in last couple of months, small greengrocer closed recently, new undertaker where a different retailer once was.

I think we are still a few months away from the real storm. Its just starting to rain and the wind is not much more than a breeze. But as you glance out accross the Ocean toward the West you will see some very nasty looking black clouds rolling this way.

Sadly, I believe we are about to experience the worst recession this side of WW2. I just hope it doesn't deteriorate into something worse. I don't like to think it but I suspect OIL may be the source of the real trouble ahead and it may be being used as a stealth weapon in the hands of our enemies overseas. :ph34r:

Ah, there's a steady trade - undertaker. Always holds up well in depressions......

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Oldham:

music shop shut.

But new yorkshire bank where the burger king used to be, and a new co-op bank.

In the shopping centre there were a few empty shops last time but we hardly ever go down that bit

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Noticing lots more empty shops in Herts, and even a few in NW London, but rents are quite extraordinary where I'm thinking of. So not a real gauge.

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Leeds

Every other Pub seems to have sale or to let signs outside,out of town shopping centers are now mostly Charity shops but if you wish a nice flat in a desirable locations we have thousands :lol:

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Leeds

Every other Pub seems to have sale or to let signs outside,out of town shopping centers are now mostly Charity shops but if you wish a nice flat in a desirable locations we have thousands :lol:

Yes, when I left Bristol last October, it looked just like that! I just don't know whether the new Broadmead shopping centre will ever be filled with retailers?

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Chester, another gone every week. Can't remember ever seeing so many empty retail premises, hairdressers, cafes, fashion outlets, you name it.

Luckily we have all those financial services jobs on Chester Business Park to count on.

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I don't think this has anything to do with house prices or any perceived recession - not yet anyhow.

IMPO this is more to do with supermarket chains pricing smaller shops out of business combined with greedy rents from commercial property owners and rampant Councils who have made it virtually impossible to drive a car into most UK towns and who then, as they own most of the car parks, charge high hourly parking charges. This is what, IMPO, has killed off Swansea City Centre... that plus it is filthy amidt all the left-overs from the various pubs and night-clubs.

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2 pubs on my old council estate in Wolverhampton - 1 closed completely, the other down to half a pub (saloon bar closed, public bar still open). Landlord of semi-pub says smoking ban has hit him hard.

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Bournemouth -

Winton: usual mix of oddball shops. For the last 10 years (at least) it has been a strange suburb - not really changed much since the 1960s. Lots of independent retailers beside the usual Boots/ Waitrose/ WHSmith. Still lots of Charity shops.

Charminster: less than a mile away but a different world. Lots of foreign delis catering for the language students, increasing numbers of ethnic restaurants ranging from glitzy Italian to down-at-heel Arabic men-only coffee shops.

No sign of downturn in either. (I try to avoid soulless Central Bournemouth)

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Guest grumpy-old-man

I live in Ossett.

Ossett is a small town in Wakefield.

2 pubs shut down, a few shop units up for lease also.

What I have noticed is that Leeds is showing cracks.....lots of huge new office buildings up for lease right in the centre.

Also, it's looking really dirty & rough imo....

anyone else noticed Leeds ??

I used to work in Leeds from 2000-2005, it has changed dramatically imo.

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Winton: usual mix of oddball shops. For the last 10 years (at least) it has been a strange suburb - not really changed much since the 1960s. Lots of independent retailers beside the usual Boots/ Waitrose/ WHSmith. Still lots of Charity shops.

There used to be a doctors surgery where Iceland now (or was?) is. I'd call that radical change. Oh, and the porno cinema at the crossroads has gone, replaced by a MacPub. It's also just occurred to me that the last time I kopped a top quality outdoor feel was in Winton.

Sorry, just enjoying a Blast from the Past there. It's this binge drinking culture. Really doesn't do anything for the quality of forum posts.

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Boscombe feeling the heat as its a "subprime" shopping centre...

Theses have closed within the last year, and are still empty.....

Ponden Mill

In for a £

Thomson holidays

Weigh and Save

Card Maker

KJC Mobile phones

Surf shop

Petshop up the other end forsale

Jewellers

Electric beach, and Cash generator, 99p Store, Polish market + cafe doing well I hear.

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Oh, I suppose I'll answer sensibly.

Cranleigh, small town \ large village (delete as appropriate), south Surrey.

Empty offie, and a Bored Rich Housewife "misc sheet" shop closing. Nothing close to devastation. Then again, it's mostly estate agents these days anyway (seven, I think, for 10k population), so we shall see. Actually, given the facilities the place has got, I wouldn't imagine anything other than a CGNAO Gets It Right moment would close all that much. There's pretty much what's needed and little more. Oh, there are a few pointless lifestyley shops, but to be honest, even a direct hit from an SS-20 wouldn't close those, as there'll still be some rich Mr. Cockroach willing to subsidise the stay-at-home Mrs. Cockroach's post-menapausal desire to sell* soft furnishings and china cats.

* Okay, I mean "stock".

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Farnborough - 60% has been knocked down for 'redevelopment' and half of whats left is empty or charity shops.

Dismal town

edit for typo

Edited by SaintJay

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Agree on Boscombe - I walked through there today for the first time in six months - the grubbier end has maybe 40% vacancies in shops, the less grubby end maybe 15%. Still, at least the several cheque-cashing outfits will be doing good business!

In general, I believe charity shops are coming under pressure from rent rises. God knows why.

Edited by okaycuckoo

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Chester, another gone every week. Can't remember ever seeing so many empty retail premises, hairdressers, cafes, fashion outlets, you name it.

Luckily we have all those financial services jobs on Chester Business Park to count on.

You old doomster, don't forget the big 'double store size' charity shop thats opened up opposite Tescos!

:lol::P

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What I have noticed is that Leeds is showing cracks.....lots of huge new office buildings up for lease right in the centre.

Also, it's looking really dirty & rough imo....

anyone else noticed Leeds ??

As far as I can recall whenever I go to Leeds all the women look really dirty and rough and are sometimes showing cracks...

Nah, just kidding.

I think you're right, there seemed to be lots of investment around 05, friend of mine became manager of a new pub being developed in millenium square. Must have cost a fortune to kit it out. I never quite understood the business model, it didn't appear particularly rammed.

Think Leeds is suffering with a come down at the moment.

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In general, I believe charity shops are coming under pressure from rent rises. God knows why.

Originally, charity shops used to take premises on a short term let at a reduced rent to fill the landlord's void between 'proper' tenants.

Once they become a permanant fixture however, they have to pay the full commercial rent.

Rents for small shops across the country are ludicrously high. It is very difficult for any small busines to make it pay. Landlords seem to prefer to have shops empty rather than reduce the rents to a realistic level.

Charity shops have been under a lot of additional pressure with the rise of discount clothing retailers. Why buy a second-hand coat for £15 when you can buy a brand new one from Primark for £20?

Where I live I would guess that almost every small retail business is for sale if you made the right offer.

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