Saturday, 17 March 2018

How to revive the health of high streets > businesses thriving on Temple Street

Revitalising our high streets is more than just keeping open the shops:
Futures Forum: How to revive the health of high streets > focus on bringing back jobs and leisure activity to town centres

The centre of Sidmouth does not have too much to fear - although some would say there are not enough small local businesses:
Futures Forum: “Sidmouth needs more small shops”
Futures Forum: "Sidmouth's different shopping experience is disappearing."
Futures Forum: In defence of Sidmouth's independent businesses

And that there are too many charity shops and cafes:
Futures Forum: Do charity shops benefit the local economy?
Futures Forum: "We don’t want a main shopping area of charity shops and coffee chains."
Futures Forum: Sidmouth: a town of charity shops and coffee shops?

It's the satellite high streets which have more to worry about.

Sidford has lost its butcher's and stand-alone post office:
Sidford business owners speak out about fears for village’s future | Latest Sidmouth and Ottery News - Sidmouth Herald
Sidford – car parking and loss surgery and shops – Herald asks for views | East Devon Watch

It's about to lose another shop-front, once occupied by the Lloyd's chemists:
Lloyds Pharmacy closes 190 stores, blaming government cuts | Business | The Guardian

However, it's about to gain a Hospicecare centre, the former Sidford surgery:
Sidmouth Hospiscare announces takeover of Sidford Surgery | Latest Sidmouth and Ottery News - Sidmouth Herald

Meanwhile, the Temple Street hub is not what it used to be...
Traders’ takings hit by Sidmouth roadworks | Latest Sidmouth and Ottery News - Sidmouth Herald

... having lost its butcher's, green grocer's, newsagent's, DIY store and an Oxfam:

Sidmouth’s Oxfam shop to close after 30 years

10 February 2016 Stephen Sumner

Changing shopping habits blamed for demise of town’s first charity shop: Sidmouth’s first charity shop is to shut next month after more than 30 years, with changing shopping habits blamed for its closure.

Oxfam store manager Andrew Pinney said Temple Street was once bustling - with a greengrocer’s, butcher’s, caf├ęs and clothing stores all serving customers. But with the arrival of supermarkets and online shopping, several premises have been converted into homes, the road is no longer the centre it once was and trade has been hit.

“Oxfam has been at these premises for 30 or 40 years,” said Mr Pinney. “Shopping in Sidmouth was completely different then – there was no Lidl, no Waitrose, you just had a couple of tiny supermarkets along Temple Street. Shopping habits have changed and all the businesses have gone out of business. You used to be able to pick up everything by foot locally. This was a great place for the shop - it isn’t the place to be any more.

Chartered surveyor Richard Heard, who has been asked to look at the Oxfam shop, said: “It’s the way of most neighbourhoods. Parking isn’t terribly good and neither is visibility coming out. Traffic flow is constant and heavy and the pavements are very narrow. Young families are far more nervous about pushing pushchairs – they would rather get in their cars and drive to the supermarket. I suspect that’s the way it will continue to go.”

He said he suspected that the conversion of Temple Street’s shops into houses and offices will continue – and artificial means such as refusing planning permission would not slow the decline. In contrast, Mr Heard said Woolbrook has the draw of Lidl and the benefit of free parking.

What shops do you remember in Temple Street? Email sidmouth.letters@archant.co.uk 

Sidmouth’s Oxfam shop to close after 30 years | Latest Sidmouth and Ottery News - Sidmouth Herald

However, there are other things going on...

The Hair Temple has invested in a revamp:
The Hair Temple – The Place We Come to Worship Our Love Of Hair
The Hair Temple - Home | Facebook

Mr Fish's Bike Shop continues to do well, also after some investment:
Excellent service - WV Fish Cycle Shops, Sidmouth Traveller Reviews - TripAdvisor

And the reopening of the Volunteer Inn has brought further life to the street:

Volunteer Inn
Couple take over Sidmouth's Volunteer Inn pub after £180k revamp | Latest Sidmouth and Ottery News - Sidmouth Herald
Great refurb - it's a different pub! - The Volunteer Inn, Sidmouth Traveller Reviews - TripAdvisor

As for new businesses, plumbers Kingdon have established a new HQ on Temple St:
Welcome To A & S Kingdon Ltd

We have a very smart place to get e-cigarette products:
Vape shop opening in Sidmouth | Latest Sidmouth and Ottery News - Sidmouth Herald

And there's a great new place to get your Easter chocolate - as featured in the latest Residents magazine of the Herald:

Independents’ Day - Chocaholics Paradise, Sidmouth

27 February 2018

Martin Osedo of Cocaholics Paradise.

I love chocolate so much, pure chocolate, nothing comes close, I had to make fresh chocolate and showcase what it’s about, and to this end, after a few years, Chocaholics Paradise Ltd was born, December 2016.

I work the shop with my wife. I hand craft all the chocolates on the premises and she tends the shop. Our little chocolate taster always has something to say, so we try to make and set up during his nap! This is what determines our opening hours 12-4, Wednesday to Saturday in the winter, and 12-5.30, Wednesday to Saturday the rest of the year.

We do have tasting days, at least once a week, where we showcase and have clients taste what we hope to bring out soon. We recommend and welcome all; feel free to come in any time, and say hello, and maybe have a nibble. You will find us on Lawn Vista, just off Temple Street.

Independents’ Day - Chocaholics Paradise, Sidmouth | Latest Sidmouth and Ottery News - Sidmouth Herald

And as the i newspaper today suggested, not all is lost for the High Street: 

This row of shops in Blackburn shows there are reasons to be optimistic about the great British high street

Darwen Street in Blackburn is facing the same pressures as other British high streets. (Photo: Jon Super)
Friday March 16th 2018

As the great British high street continues to be rocked by big name closures, Dean Kirby visits a row of 10 shops in Blackburn and finds that retailers are far from gloomy.

“All high street shops are facing unprecedented pressures from rising business rates, car parking charges and changing shopping habits. The effects of the economy on people’s spending are huge.

”But where shops can offer a unique service for customers, they will survive. The high street is constantly evolving and there’ll always be a place for shops that can adapt.“

British high street: These Blackburn shops show reasons to be optimistic

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