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Shopping Area In Welwyn Garden City Being Decimated

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Can't quite believe how fast this is happening in Welwyn Garden City,but the town centre is now having shop after shop close it seems.

There are some sites that have been closed and empty for more than 12 months,but it is really picking up pace now.Two shops have just closed within the space of about three weeks in the upper story of the Howard Centre.One was an art shop that had been trading for over 40 years and the other was a bedding and curtain shop.About a couple of doors down has been a site that was empty.It was previously a music ie CD Shop.Something 'Zone' I think.Its right next door to Marks and Sparks.Anyway its just opened up as an 'el cheepo' almost pound shop selling the usual tat.

It really is a case of guess which shop is going to close down next.

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Can't quite believe how fast this is happening in Welwyn Garden City,but the town centre is now having shop after shop close it seems.

There are some sites that have been closed and empty for more than 12 months,but it is really picking up pace now.Two shops have just closed within the space of about three weeks in the upper story of the Howard Centre.One was an art shop that had been trading for over 40 years and the other was a bedding and curtain shop.About a couple of doors down has been a site that was empty.It was previously a music ie CD Shop.Something 'Zone' I think.Its right next door to Marks and Sparks.Anyway its just opened up as an 'el cheepo' almost pound shop selling the usual tat.

It really is a case of guess which shop is going to close down next.

I thought the town planners did that back in the 1960s - decimated!?

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About a couple of doors down has been a site that was empty.It was previously a music ie CD Shop.Something 'Zone' I think.Its right next door to Marks and Sparks.Anyway its just opened up as an 'el cheepo' almost pound shop selling the usual tat.

I rarely venture into the Howard Centre, it never seemed that great to me.

Music Zone was the original shop you refer to, which closed down about a year ago with the sad demise of Fopp, which expanded too fast and bought out Music Zone (whom I think had themselves taken on most of the MVC stores after MVC had gone bust too).

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Quite "Masked Tulip"

Yes Music Zone that was the one.Thanks

Must admit if I really wanted to do Shopping,I would go to Watford.Most of the time in Welwyn Garden City Town Centre I am there passing through or going to the bank.

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Two different independent toy stores in Bedford shut within days of each other as did a subway sandwich cafe lookey likey. An el cheepo store in the Harpur centre was closed the last time i went past it. When I went elsewhere to get my mobile phone unlocked, the mobile phone store had moved into a vacated gift store. (the sort of store that sold some nice bits but you never actually went in it).

Trouble is I don't walk all the town centre every month so I don't always spot closures as quickly as I might but I know where you are coming from.

As for the Howard Centre, my bets would be between the pet store (50-1) sony centre (20-1) book store (18-1) Thorntons (18-1) Toy Store (10-1)

(Is there a toy store still there?)

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I was in guildford town centre today and saw a lot of empty units in the friary centre- a lot more empty stores around everywhere now. The speed of it is a bit shocking to be honest.

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I don't think you can read too much into record/cd shops closing. I worked in the business for many years, so know a bit about it, sales have been falling heavily due to the internet, Amazon and places like Tesco and Asda selling cd's. The high street shop's problems are not really tied into the current credit crunch.

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However, in the last crash there were lots of boarded up shops in Stevenage town centre so its best we get used to the idea.

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As for the Howard Centre, my bets would be between the pet store (50-1) sony centre (20-1) book store (18-1) Thorntons (18-1) Toy Store (10-1)

(Is there a toy store still there?)

Well the pet store is still there.Go in there quite a bit,mostly to look at the animals and to pick a bit of fish food up.The Sony centre,thats the one downstairs isn't it just behind the escalators.Don't know how that is still going to be quite honest.Never seem to see anyone in there buying.Bookstore,yes its a good one,but who buys books when money is tight,and the position it is in with so many places closing down upstairs in the Howard Centre,its off the main track.Thorntons does seem to have quite a bit of trade,I know I have spent quite a few quid on presents in there.The Toy shop,I assume you mean the one upstairs,not ELC downstairs.Well I hope it does close to be quite honest,because they have a bad attitude in there,and although I spend a lot on buying toys,I make a point of not using the place.

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Can't quite believe how fast this is happening in Welwyn Garden City,but the town centre is now having shop after shop close it seems.

There are some sites that have been closed and empty for more than 12 months,but it is really picking up pace now.Two shops have just closed within the space of about three weeks in the upper story of the Howard Centre.One was an art shop that had been trading for over 40 years and the other was a bedding and curtain shop.About a couple of doors down has been a site that was empty.It was previously a music ie CD Shop.Something 'Zone' I think.Its right next door to Marks and Sparks.Anyway its just opened up as an 'el cheepo' almost pound shop selling the usual tat.

It really is a case of guess which shop is going to close down next.

And the irony is, 5 minutes walk away is Tesco HQ and IT centre. There are 1,000s of employees there, split between the two large buildings on the site. I worked there for 1.5 years on contract.

So, all the shops are going, but Tesco is thriving. Maybe that's the answer to what you are seeing? BTW, Tesco are quite the worst people in the world to work for; most people I knew where off most of the time on "stress leave", and I took 3 months off work to recover once I'd finished with them.

Nomadd

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Two different independent toy stores in Bedford shut within days of each other as did a subway sandwich cafe lookey likey. An el cheepo store in the Harpur centre was closed the last time i went past it. When I went elsewhere to get my mobile phone unlocked, the mobile phone store had moved into a vacated gift store. (the sort of store that sold some nice bits but you never actually went in it).

Trouble is I don't walk all the town centre every month so I don't always spot closures as quickly as I might but I know where you are coming from.

As for the Howard Centre, my bets would be between the pet store (50-1) sony centre (20-1) book store (18-1) Thorntons (18-1) Toy Store (10-1)

(Is there a toy store still there?)

"Stands the clock at 10 to 3?

And can I still buy a Playstation at the Centre Sony?"

The Old Bernie Inn, Welwyn Garden City. Rupert Brooke.

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I don't walk to the town centre every month so I don't always spot closures as quickly as I might but I know where you are coming from.

the Howard Centre, my bets would be between the pet store (50-1) sony centre (20-1) book store (18-1) Thorntons (18-1) Toy Store (10-1)

Are these 5 runners the only runners in the race to be the next shop in Welwyn to close ?? If so at those odds i'll lump on big on each one as at those odds your guaranteed a profit whoever wins .

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Are these 5 runners the only runners in the race to be the next shop in Welwyn to close ?? If so at those odds i'll lump on big on each one as at those odds your guaranteed a profit whoever wins .

Well the OP was referring to the Howard Centre specifically but i'm guessing you have cast your eye over some of the shops outside the Howard Centre.

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Quite "Masked Tulip"

Yes Music Zone that was the one.Thanks

Must admit if I really wanted to do Shopping,I would go to Watford.Most of the time in Welwyn Garden City Town Centre I am there passing through or going to the bank.

If I wanted to go shopping i would have a lie down and the urge would quickly pass.

Either that or i would go online and save the hassle and expense of parking

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I drove into St Albans mid last week (intended to take a stroll round Verulamium park, couldn't get a sodding parking space, so came back home) - Lots of shops closing / closed and those open were plastered with "SALE" signs.

Writing is on the wall.

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I went to Ipswich to get a new camera lens at the weekend. All the camera shops appeared to have closed down. There were plenty of new pound shops and bookies though. I think the place is degentrifying into Chavwich :unsure: .

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If I wanted to go shopping i would have a lie down and the urge would quickly pass.

Either that or i would go online and save the hassle and expense of parking

Trust me it takes necessity for me to open me purse,and before I would have to pay for parking,I would have to learn to drive first.Husband does think that there is too much space given over to Taxi ranks in WGC,even though he isn't that averse to paying for parking.

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I think there are a few more candidates - there are more jewellers than needed, but mostly chains, it'll be the small independents who fold first. There is a travel agent that looks iffy. The juice bar I think has shut (far too healthy to have a chance in there....). I think one of the sports shops goes first, you know, the sports shops that have no sportswear or appropriate sports shoes, just poorly made overpriced chavvy rubbish.

Has anyone noticed how car parks must be struggling - since the last round of excessive price rises I have noticed the station car park is materially less busy. Perhaps at some stage there might be some enlightened thinking that if you keep raising prices, you will kill demand.

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My home town of Derby had already been decimated (spelling ?!) last autumn by the arrival of a gigantic westfield shopping centre on the edge of town which almost overnight, caused the closure of about 20 percent of the other shops in the city and that was just before the credit crunch etc. God knows what will happen to the small traders now!

Just before the launch of the Shopping centre I belonged to a minority of people who did not want the centre , and was often dismissed as just anti-corporate etc. Since the effects of the centre have taken their toll, many are changing their minds, but it's too late, Derby is now in the grip of an american Mega corp who will shut up shop at the drop of a hat if things get really ropey.

I remember walking with my dad through the city in the late seventies and almost every other shop on one main street seemed to be vacant. I wonder if such a scene is to return.

Edited by researchmug

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Yes there seems to be plenty of scope for more closures in WGC outside the Howard Centre as well.The stationary shop that was on a corner near Sainsburys closed a couple of months ago.

That juice shop spoken about did seem to get a few customers,but I suppose with the rent payable was not enough to make it viable.

Popped over to St Albans last week.Pizza Hut had a notice up,closing 27th July.St Albans to my mind with it being historic has a lot more of a pull than WGC,and I think keep taking away more and more shops and there will be even less to bother going to WGC,especially if you don't live here.

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Another shop closing this weekend,inside the Howard Centre.Its sells cooking utensils.Its right next to the Sony shop by the escalators.Quite prime location,but there is already another shop like that just outside the Howard centre.It's only been there a while,used to be Adams children's clothes shop.

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Guest KingCharles1st

Well Letchworth is fast reverting to its 1994 look- ie, grey soul-less, dull as dishwater- nothing to see here move along- sort of way,

I feel sorry for the shopkeepers who try to ride it out. basically places like Letch and Welwyn are getting hit for the following reasons, not an exactly HUGE customer base to sell to, and those that do shop are just as likely to go to town if htey are really looking to buy, after all its only 20 mins into Kings X.

Secondly, the utterly stupid and exorbitant "high lock in" rent and rates for very small premises in very boring dull grey shopping areas with no CHARACTER. At least here, Hitchin scores as it has some style and buzz..

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Another shop closing this weekend,inside the Howard Centre.Its sells cooking utensils.

The shop outside the Howard Centre that sells cooking utensils must be pleased. WGC is the sort of expensive place you would expect such a fancy shop to do well in.

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I think there are a few more candidates - there are more jewellers than needed, but mostly chains, it'll be the small independents who fold first. There is a travel agent that looks iffy. The juice bar I think has shut (far too healthy to have a chance in there....). I think one of the sports shops goes first, you know, the sports shops that have no sportswear or appropriate sports shoes, just poorly made overpriced chavvy rubbish.

Has anyone noticed how car parks must be struggling - since the last round of excessive price rises I have noticed the station car park is materially less busy. Perhaps at some stage there might be some enlightened thinking that if you keep raising prices, you will kill demand.

Yes, I've noticed this too at the railway station in Oxford. Many fewer cars than there used to be. Combination of them making it almost impossible to park there without using a train and the huge increase in charges.

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My home town of Derby had already been decimated (spelling ?!) last autumn by the arrival of a gigantic westfield shopping centre on the edge of town which almost overnight, caused the closure of about 20 percent of the other shops in the city and that was just before the credit crunch etc. God knows what will happen to the small traders now!

Just before the launch of the Shopping centre I belonged to a minority of people who did not want the centre , and was often dismissed as just anti-corporate etc. Since the effects of the centre have taken their toll, many are changing their minds, but it's too late, Derby is now in the grip of an american Mega corp who will shut up shop at the drop of a hat if things get really ropey.

I remember walking with my dad through the city in the late seventies and almost every other shop on one main street seemed to be vacant. I wonder if such a scene is to return.

I remember having a chat to an economist colleague who was an advisor to the government on supermarket policy. A complete lack of understanding, or a wilful lack of understanding that when people say they want large supermarkets, they also don't take into account the concomitant death of the high street and all the other convenience services. I thought the "tragedy of the commons" was first year undergrad economics...apparently not. He was paid quite a lot of dosh for his advice. He was so strident in the conversation and he broke off 10 years of friendly relations after it...he was normally such a calm reasoned debater...I wonder if he felt some guilt?

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