Thursday, April 2, 2009

Published yesterday but relevent

The Ghost Towns

THE credit crunch is creating ghost towns the length and breadth of Britain. Our High Streets have been hurt by more than 50 chains — including household names Woolworths and MFI — hitting the wall in the past year and smaller stores are going the same way. Nowhere has struggled more than Edgbaston, Birmingham, the official ghost town of the UK. An exclusive survey reveals that an astonishing 67.9 PER CENT of store space in the suburb is EMPTY.

Posted by mark @ 12:24 PM (1397 views)
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13 thoughts on “Published yesterday but relevent

  • Edgbaston is quite a posh area of town too.

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  • Does this mean the specials will be reforming?

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  • The Specials were from Coventry, but yeah, I like the reference!

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  • happy mondays says:

    The Specials, didn’t the have the single “Gordons farm” ooopps i mean Maggies farm!

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  • Is it possible that the featured estate agent in Tyne & Wear (see photo) also has a share in a shopfront glaziers business ?

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  • holding out says:

    Edgbaston is a posh area. But what they call Edgbaston is right on the edge and is known locally as 5 ways. The bit they are on about is literally underneath a traffic island and has been a dump for years.

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  • Iwantahouse says:

    I think there is a solution here. Let the shops run with a greatly reduced rent or no rent at all. I guarantee they will not be empty for long.

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    FFS, where is this mysterious “Britain” of which they speak?

    I know there’s England, Wales and Scotland, which together make up the island of ‘Great Britain’, which then together with Northern Ireland makes up “The United Kingdom”, but what or where is “Britain”?

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  • mark wadsworth – heh. yeah, ‘Britain’ is an ambiguous region!
    It could be:
    The United Kingdom
    Great Britain
    The British Isles (i.e. Great Britain + Ireland + all the isles)

    But most accurately Britain would refer to a village in Viginia, U.S.! (although Google Maps has bowed to these media ‘ideals’)

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  • Depriving elderly savers of interest payments on savings accounts (which they live off and spend) in order to help out people on tracker mortgages has worked wonders. Instead of spending the hundreds of pounds a month they have saved in mortgage repayments, the over mortgaged have used it to pay down their mortgages.When George W Bush gave Americans tax rebates they did n’t spend much of them either.Something is different is needed to get people spending in the shops.

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  • montesquieu says:

    These shopping deserts are a direct consequence of Thatcher and Blair’s policy of allowing out of town malls and superstores to dominate British retailing.

    If you go to many other countries, from the netherlands to germany to bulgaria to taiwan, most shopping is done at small stores, the streets of towns and cities are full of people – ordinary citizens, not subsidised, chainsmoking, tracksuited lowlife and their feral offspring.

    The minute Thatch started to allow an abomination like Tesco to take one in seven of every retail pound, allow strip malls and concrete monstrosities with the usual John Lewis at one end, Marks & Sparks at the other and the 20 usual suspects in between, the inevitable consequence was that traditional, family or small chain owned shops in this country were doomed.

    I was in Bracknell town centre recently – I’ve driven through regularly for over 10 years and never stopped. apart from a new bit which confirms to the above description of a sheeple mall for the terminally brain dead, the old part is either almost entirely boarded up, pound shops or charity shops. It’s tragic.

    The current economic woes have only accellerated a trend began in the 80s and particularly the 90s under Major and Blair.

    If you want to return life to these places, close down the out of town supermarkets and malls, use anti-monopoly legislation to break up Tesco and do something to end local authority persecution of the urban motorist.

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  • Spot on montesquieu as far as I am concerned god awful Tesco’s is the retail outfit of last resort and if recollection serves me right I have only entered their premises 3 times in the last 5 years. I also find it dismaying that they are also trying to put our traditional convenience store operators such as COOP, SPAR and the other small operators out of business with their TESCO Express operation. It’s amazing that they have not been subjected to monopolies regulation, then again they are New Labour donors if my memory is also correct!

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  • The massive increase in available credit has acted like a financial stimulous. We have continued to de-industrialize and outsource labour to the far East. The results have been a hollowing out. For every £1 borrowed at the moment less than this is recovered as value. In other words, we have no genuine response to globalization. Except for the socialist instinct to not only spend other people’s money. But to borrow from future generations – and invest it poorly.

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