Saturday, 16 October 2010

An Open & Shut & Open & Shut Case

Andrews estate agents in Worcester Park has closed down. Again. 

The estate agency shut its doors during the dark days of the property downturn in the summer of 2008, only to emerge phoenix-like from the ashes in the summer of 2009, with the Deputy Mayor of Sutton on hand to cut the ribbon and quaff champagne.

Now, just over a year on from its rebirth, the doors have been shut once again. 

All of which adds to my theory that Worcester Park retail is something of a zero sum game - as soon as one new shop opens another closes (or vice versa if you want to be a bit more optimistic about things).

Either way, the welcome openings of new retail units over the past year seems to have been matched with an equal number of unwelcome closures. 

Welcome, though, to the new computer/mobile phone/techy-stuff shop (which also, according to the sign, repairs misspelled televeisons) which has opened next to Acacia hair and beauty.


I see there's a nail bar opening soon in the old 'Party Express' unit. Let's hope nothing closes to compensate for it. 

19 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

axlrocky said...

fantastic enthusiastic leafleting from the seasonal shop team at the station this week - they were jolly, happy to engage and polite. A lesson to be learned by our political groups at the next election, well done the seasonal shop and lets all shop local this year for decorations and support them!

Anonymous said...

One has to wonder about the wisdom of opening a nail bar in a high street which already has one. Is there really enough of a market to support two?

Barb said...

Do we really need another nail shop..? Our High Street is so BORING! I suppose it's our fault though, sandwiched between Kingston and Sutton and only 20 mins from London there's not really a lot of hope!

Anonymous said...

we need some decent shops - new malden have got shoe shops, clothes shops & a peacocks is opening where blockbusters was and for people watching the pennies,a massive poundland. we get crap, charity shops and estate agents! I think they should open a poundland where m&s used to be, the one in new malden is always packed.

Jacey said...

Okay, we don't have a female clothes shop but we do have Clarke's shoes which is a good shop. Decent shops? Please no pound shops, Primark etc. I don't want WP resembling Sutton thanks! The fact that we're a small town is good enough for me. And I even like the fact that some shops still close on Wednesdays. Next you'll be suggesting McDonalds or Starbucks!
As far as Andrews are concerned they can stay shut. I was in North Cheam a while ago and overheard one of the office staff saying that if the person wanted cheaper houses they should go to Worcester Park! Good sales talk. Its a difficult choice but WP or North Cheam?? Worcester Park thanks.

ShopTillWeDrop said...

I assume there is a local traders committee or council dept. that gives the go ahead to any new business on the high street, and that it is a well thought out and planned process of setting up shop, or can anyone move into the empty units and make a go of it?

ANY new business is a good thing, that brings new trade to the high street and money spent, but surely to make the area more appealing to shoppers we need to have a wider range of shops and businesses on offer. We don't want to be the town that shoppers flock to for all their charity shop (9 units?) and hairdresser (13 units?) needs.

Good luck to the new nail bar and new computer repair shop, we do really wish you luck with your ventures but do we really need you? Worcester Park high street is lacking a fishmongers, a phone shop, a book shop, a baby shop, an art shop, an electrical shop... etc etc. A more varied shopping experience will make it more attractive.

coffee man said...

well said Jacey.

Kathie said...

yes, but no one else has Broadway Bargains

PoundStretcher said...

Kathie - Have you ever been in Broadway Bargains? ;) (forgive me if you have)

My point being that shops should only open up to supply demand. I'm sure we can't all be wanting to get our haircut on the high street. Yes, there is a choice now of nail bars and other duplicated shops, but is it really 13 hairdressers??

Anonymous said...

i think our shops are fine, we have a good fruit and veg shop, a great butcher, all the banks, a bike shop, waitrose, a couple of coffee shops, a couple of hardware stores, a photograph shop and even a car part shop. yes we dont have any fashion stores or up to date record or game shops but so what, i like worcester park town, has all my immediate needs.

Carl said...

A baby shop? I thought storks had the baby delivery market cornered?

Anonymous said...

Bad news folks, Camera Continental is up for sale - looks like another business going to the wall

Nichu said...

I do wonder how the small shops in Worcester Park manage to stay open, there are so few people in them when I go shopping. Perhaps there are more people about in the day, whilst I'm at work. I guess it's one of the sad things about being in a commuter zone - such a large chunk of people are out at work elsewhere all day (New Malden has quite a lot of office workers from there and elsewhere so I guess that's why it's different there). By the time I get home from work most of the shops in WP are closed, so I only get to go at weekends, and then I might as well go to Kingston (don't really feel like going shopping often). I do get excited when I hear about new things opening in Worcester Park, but sadly I'll probably only go there a few times a year. We liked the high street: it was part of the attraction of moving here, but admittedly I very rarely frequent the local shops except for Waitrose. Sad but true. But the supply and demand point is important: it's nice to support local businesses, but it doesn't seem like a sustainable business model to me, having to rely solely on local residents wanting to support local businesses. They need to research the market and find out what people would actually buy.
I like having the charity shops, they seem to have good stock, and are often quite busy and friendly. I would also hate to have poundland and McDonalds (but then I just wouldn't go to them, so I suppose I can't complain!)

wpworkingmummy said...

Worcester Park is stacked full of young families and it is true that it would be great to have somewhere to buy quality baby clothes, toys and accessories. Luckily the charity shops offer a wide range of stuff, but takes some time to find - a 'baby shop' of some description would do a roaring trade!

Anonymous said...

We need decent shops and no "jacey" I don't think that meant Mcdonalds or Starbucks - shops! shops! shops! - NOT more restaurants/eateries!!! It would be nice to just go down the high street for nothing in particular & have a wander about through some nicer shops. Clothes, shoes (baby/kids shop is a good idea considering the families in the area)

ProfitMarginal said...

Can anyone open up a new business or does it have to go to consultation? Who decides what rubbish shop will open up next on the high street? I'm sure a ban can't be put on the nature of business to open but if there is simply no demand for it, dont open.

It might be easier and more profitable for the next prospective trader to have a long hard look at what is currently on offer in worcester park, work out what is missing and what shoppers actually want and then open up shop!

Anonymous said...

Try valuing and supporting the shops you've got, rather than idly complaining that others more energetic than you should be investing in new, local small businesses.

That's new local, small businesses, which you might occasionally be willing to support, but you'll probably prefer to idly watch fail.

Then you can idly complain here that you knew all along that investing in such small businesses was always SO unwise!

ProfitMarginal said...

Anonymous - I run a business in Worcester Park, but didn't think it relevant to mention here as the post was about the high street shops. I therefore know a little bit (more than you?) about trade and local investment.

I do support the local small businesses as I am one of them. I was simply commenting that the high street doesn't fit the supply and demand model. All of us on here go on about what we'd like to see open but again we're faced with another of the same. There needs to be a more varied range of shops and businesses than is currently offered that's all.

Spoilt for choice or unhealthy competition?

Just an (entitled to) opinion. sorry for actually having one.

Anonymous said...

ProfitMarginal, from your comments, it would seem that you run an established, local business but are unsure how to establish a local business? If such a knowledge gap is replicated throughout the high street, maybe that’s a reason why local businesses are failing? After all, “I know more than you!” was what the British Motorcycle Industry was telling consumers in the 1960s… and look what happened there!

Consumer habits, spending, wants and needs have all changed rapidly over recent decades: Most couples of a working age now both work. Most local consumers with spending power are away at work when most of the local shops are open. Most consumers now have cars, and those that are cash rich, are usually time poor at weekends, so they would rather drive to a single superstore (with a convenient car park) and do all their shopping in one go.

If in doubt, eight local charity shops and further multiple empty units suggest there’s some truth in the above, although you might disagree, maintaining, “I know far more than you!” So maybe it’s all just one huge ‘blip’? Anyway, my previous comment was meant for nobody in particular, so try not to take it personally.

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