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Opinion : Are bad times here again?

| May 9, 2014


The past few lunchtimes have been disappointing when it comes to weather.

Grey, overcast skies and drizzly rain are not the ideal conditions for eating ones sandwiches outdoors. Let me assure you I for one am not going to be put off by some inclement weather.

I must admit the past few days yours truly has found myself walking through the new shopping complex taking advantage of the roof to shield me from the elements.

Walking through today your humble servant was taken aback by the growing number of empty shops there, especially in the mall properly referred to as Newlands Street.

In recent months it seems quite a few retailers have closed in the complex such as Bijou Brigette, Charles Fish and more recently Square the computer store indeed the demise of some of these businesses has been reported on the news section of this very site.

Amazingly there are still some retail units with the original advertisements hoardings up from when the complex opened back in March 2008. As yet the unopened have yet to find an occupier.

With the former Robert Dyas store in White Hart Street now also empty an air of gloom and despair is settling over the town once again.

It seems that for every new shop that opens two close, maybe it’s my pessimism but that’s the impression I get.

Walking through the Chilterns shopping centre in Frogmoor is a most disheartening experience with shop after shop standing empty with the lights out. Even the former Post Office is laying empty with the interior fixtures and fittings all stripped out and piled up on the floor.

I think it’s fair to say that Wycombe is on a downer again, things are maybe not as good as expected and the Christmas optimism is slowly evaporating.

Most people think building the new shopping centre was a step too far and now even the valiant complex is slowly losing retailers as the harsh reality of the commercial world bites.

Surely something can be done to stop the cycle of boom and bust? However in Wycombe the boom is more of a pop and the bust seems to be more pronounced than in other towns.

Setting up a shop is such an expensive and time consuming exercise with so much red tape to wade through. Surely something could be done to make starting a business easier and less risky?

Unless ordinary people can get into business easily and with the minimum of fuss and risk our towns economy will never be great again.

The powers that be are the only ones with the clout to get out town back on its feet, sadly they were the ones who instigated the building of the complex which many say killed Wycombe town centre off.

What do you think?

*Don’t forget my blogs are published here twice a week every Tuesday and Friday evenings around 8pm.

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