Monday, 21 March 2011

Snob In My Back Yard

What a reaction there has been here on the blog to the arrival of Poundland in Worcester Park - opening this Thursday in the former 'M&S Simply Food' unit next to Midas Touch.

I am quite happy to go on the record and admit that I am quite looking forward to having Poundland on our doorstep. I for one will not be rolling my eyes skywards and proclaiming  'there goes the neighbourhood'. 

After all, if having a Poundland in your High Street really does meant he area has gone to the dogs, then Worcester Park will be keeping good company with those reknowned slum settlements of Orpington, Harrow and Epsom. 

The fact that 'downmarket' Poundland is moving in to what was once an upmarket M&S Simply Food store must only serve to rub freshly-ground Atlantic sea salt into the wounds of the offended middle classes. The fact is, of course, that whilst we loved the idea of having M&S Simply Food in Worcester Park we simply didn't love shopping there enough to make it work. 

After years of the unit lying empty, it is being used again, bringing more money and employment in to the town and much-needed footfall to that end of Central Road. 

It will naturally bring uncertainty to some smaller independent traders who might see an element of competition from Poundland, but if we really do support our independent traders (with custom and not just warm words) then they will have little to fear.

Most importantly it means one fewer empty shop unit - surely a boarded up vacant unit is far greater a sign of a failing High Street than a bustling Poundland?

Finally, as we are on the subject of class, this article in yesterday's Independent On Sunday is well worth a read for David Randall's reminiscences of life and subtle snobberies as he grew up amongst the middle-classes  of Edenfield Gardens in Worcester Park. It would seem that very little has changed. 


16 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

Shelokay said...

well i did a celebration dance when i saw it was becoming a poundland!! yay :)

WP Spur said...

Its another retail unit filled. I suspect John James and the Off License will be very happy. Best of luck I reckon.

James said...

I can honestly say, I have no idea where the competition is coming from; why is it damaging the local businesses? Last time I checked Poundland didn't do haircuts!

I for one can't wait till Poundland opens, finally somewhere to buy batteries when I need them! For all the snobs, get over yourselves, the world is changing.

Anonymous said...

i think its funny, christmas stocking filers are now sorted for this year!

thats what i think said...

as the geezer above said surely its gotta be a good thing having the unit filled lets hope its the start of a few more big high street names coming to good old kt4 lets face it the last thing we need is more hairdressers or charity shops gimme poundland anyday far better than empty rundown graffiteed shop fronts! who know what next Mcdonalds?wilkinsons?tesco? lets wait and see!!!!

Passionate Local Shopper said...

We don’t want a Poundland or supermarkets! We want local traders and people need to support them!

I realised this whilst I was stuck in the traffic in Central Road, during the road works and trying to get to the Tesco Superstore in New Malden. There I was, just sat there in the middle of bumper to bumper vehicles when occurred to me: Why are all those people in front of me thoughtlessly sitting in their cars, driving at a snail’s pace, to shop out of town, when they should be shopping locally and supporting the local shops sitting under their noses? (Instead delaying me from getting my shopping done in New Malden).

As my partner and I sat motionless, listening to the drown of our engine, he said, “This lot in front must be wasting a fortune in petrol – they must have money to burn!” I agreed, and as I looked in the mirror at the queue of cars behind, (through the smoke from our exhaust), I added, “Yes, and those behind are just as selfish! None of them could give a stuff about the environment either!” (With that, as we got increasingly frustrated at the selfishness behaviour and reckless environmental damage going on in front and behind, we consoled ourselves by turning up the air conditioning).

You don’t need a Poundland in KT4! You simply need to value support our local, independent shops! It doesn’t matter if it costs a few pence more! (However, in my case, as I’m paying for petrol to and from out of town supermarkets, I obviously need to watch those pennies). So the rest of you all need to support your local independent traders and look after the environment: Walk and shop locally! (Then once you’re off the road, rather than constantly delaying us, we can get a clear run to Tesco’s and get our own shopping done so much quicker and easier).

Ta.

Outraged of the Avenue said...

I am outraged at the prospect of a ‘Poundland’ on my doorstep. I suggest an identical shop, selling exactly the same items, but called ‘Five Poundland’ with all the items priced accordingly. This would be far more appropriate.

I also suggest that the banner photograph appearing on this blog (the one at the top, showing road traffic in the high street) is replaced with one featuring Jaguars and Mercedes and Porsches, as that should add value to my property.

Lord Cynic of Lindsay said...

As a member of the local aristocracy and a therefore a right wing middle class snob I would definitely welcome a £100-land, rather than a £1-land.
Additionally WPB, there was more to the closing of M & S Simply Food than a lack of punters. But I'm afraid commercial discretion prevents me from divulging such juicy titbits!

Paul said...

Lord Cynic - you can't tempt us with that information and not elaborate...

mr tight of st clair said...

i cant afford to shop in poundland could we not have a 99p store instead!!

Poundland Posse said...

As a bleeding heart Liberal with a positive approach to an all-inclusive society, committed to equality and diversity, I heartily welcome a Poundland - it's another place I can nick from.

I never do it for personal gain, you must understand, but as a protest against the whole capitalist system that dismisses and demeans some valued members of society with the label ‘work shy freeloaders’, just because we are work shy freeloaders.

Anonymous said...

Of course those that complain about Poundland will probably be first in the queue and shop there on the quiet. Are they saying they'd rather pay more for something and be ripped-off?

Unlike the American-style supermarket megastores such as Tescos New Malden or Sainsburys North Cheam which only encourage further driving, Pound Shops etc are still a part of the proper High Street in most towns.

Moreover, shops such as Wilkinsons and Poundland are doing their best to challenge 'Rip-off Britain' which blights so many other aspects of our lives in this country.

Anonymous said...

"I suggest an identical shop, selling exactly the same items, but called ‘Five Poundland’ with all the items priced accordingly."

If inflation keeps going the way it is you might just get it.

Martin.

The Dutchman said...

About 41 years @ 4% inflation - depends on how old we all are :)

Anonymous said...

It may amuse some people in Worcester Park that Poundland is only a temporary store, which was only ment to stay open until September, but is being kept open until after Christmas when a decision either way will be made about its trading....

Anonymous said...

It will probably stay open ,and should do hopefully

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