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Old January 10th, 2011, 04:00 PM   #221
horokeio
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Some bad, though unexpected, reports which could mean uncertainty ahead for Wearside's retail sector:


Austerity-hit retailers widen north-south gap

The north-south retail divide is growing as chains scale back expansion into the north to concentrate on the more affluent and profitable south.

Jones Lang LaSalle, a comercial property agent, has just published a report on the retail industry which found that parts of the north will be hit hard. "Job uncertainty combined with the VAT rise and the post-Christmas curb in spending will all have an inevitable negative impact on purchasing power and consumer confidence, particularly in the north of England, resulting in lower retail sales," say the report's authors.

Retailers including America's Best Buy have recently pulled out of plans to open shops in the north amid fears that consumers there are being hit hardest by job losses and government cuts. Anecdotal evidence from retailers has shown the North-east and Northern Ireland are already hurting the most.

Full article: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/bu...p-2179578.html
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Old January 10th, 2011, 04:09 PM   #222
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horokeio View Post
Some bad, though unexpected, reports which could mean uncertainty ahead for Wearside's retail sector:


Austerity-hit retailers widen north-south gap

The north-south retail divide is growing as chains scale back expansion into the north to concentrate on the more affluent and profitable south.

Jones Lang LaSalle, a comercial property agent, has just published a report on the retail industry which found that parts of the north will be hit hard. "Job uncertainty combined with the VAT rise and the post-Christmas curb in spending will all have an inevitable negative impact on purchasing power and consumer confidence, particularly in the north of England, resulting in lower retail sales," say the report's authors.

Retailers including America's Best Buy have recently pulled out of plans to open shops in the north amid fears that consumers there are being hit hardest by job losses and government cuts. Anecdotal evidence from retailers has shown the North-east and Northern Ireland are already hurting the most.

Full article: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/bu...p-2179578.html

Not good news, ---but not suprised.
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Old January 15th, 2011, 01:18 AM   #223
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This isn't strictly the right place for this, but Castletown Netto has been sold to Morrisons for competition reasons. Netto stores at Roker, Pennywell and Ryhope are to become Asda stores after the supermarket's recent takeover of Netto.

In other news, Sainsburys has just overtaken Asda to regain its position as the UK's second-largest retailer.
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Old January 19th, 2011, 08:04 PM   #224
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While browsing the planning applications on Durham CC website I noticed an application for the former Waitrose unit described as:

Erection and display of 4 no. non-illuminated individual lettered advertisements to west, east and north sides of existing shopping centre

The application is by Wilkinson Hardware Stores.
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Old January 19th, 2011, 09:23 PM   #225
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I'm on a roll today, I've found another planning application for Durham. This time it's for a Starbucks in Bridge House just along from the Fighting Cocks.

I've also heard the unit in The Gates, next to Santander bank, selling homeware items is being kicked out to make way for a Mexican restaurant.
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Old January 20th, 2011, 12:14 AM   #226
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JetStreak View Post
While browsing the planning applications on Durham CC website I noticed an application for the former Waitrose unit described as:

Erection and display of 4 no. non-illuminated individual lettered advertisements to west, east and north sides of existing shopping centre

The application is by Wilkinson Hardware Stores.
Well spotted! Wilkinson opening there makes perfect sense really, now that Tesco (in the old Woolworths) has the Durham city centre grocery market wrapped up. Obviously a logical fit with the Gates' discount focus too.
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Old January 20th, 2011, 11:46 PM   #227
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Well spotted! Wilkinson opening there makes perfect sense really, now that Tesco (in the old Woolworths) has the Durham city centre grocery market wrapped up. Obviously a logical fit with the Gates' discount focus too.
I was surprised when Wilkinsons didn't take over the Woolies unit, but in a way maybe it was for the best as it's a better fit for the Gates. Hopefully it'll help to revitalise that end of the shopping centre. Could even be worthy of a post on your blog perhaps.

I've checked the application again this evening and the associated documents have now been uploaded. There's internal signage as you would expect and the application is for the Waitrose signs to be replicated, i.e., same size and location, but with the Wilkinsons brand.

Details here: http://publicaccess.durhamcity.gov.u...=LF9ZY4BN02O00
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Old January 21st, 2011, 12:00 AM   #228
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I was surprised when Wilkinsons didn't take over the Woolies unit, but in a way maybe it was for the best as it's a better fit for the Gates. Hopefully it'll help to revitalise that end of the shopping centre. Could even be worthy of a post on your blog perhaps.
As it happens I'm going to an event in Durham next week, so if I can get some fresh photos or retail-related things there may well be a blog in there somewhere!

After my last visit in 2009, I wrote about the empty Waitrose unit, if you haven't already read it: http://www.soultsretailview.co.uk/20...success-story/
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Old January 21st, 2011, 02:58 AM   #229
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I'm still very disappointed, and suprised, that a business such as Waitrose chose the site they did.

If I may ask Graham, do you imagine, if Waitrose had been able to pick a prime spot in Durham, such as the old Woolworths unit, that they would still be open? Should a city like Durham be able to sustain a Waitrose store?
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Old January 21st, 2011, 03:39 PM   #230
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IMO, it was location that was Waitrose's downfall and this is shown by the delay in being able to find a replacement store in The Gates. Apparently, the majority of staff and resources moved from the Durham branch to the newly-opened site in Newcaslte which is in a much better spot and a city where it would have been much easier tohqve a successful store.
Durham city centre is mostly students and are therefore unlikely to shop at Waitrose (students likely to use Tesco Express just up the street). Those who would like to just do grocery are more likely to drive to Tesco at Dragonville or Sainsburys at Arnison. The car park under Waitrose, I imagine, would mostly be students or those wanting clothing shops such as New Look, Topshop and M&S for example.
Just my opinion but Durham City Centre wasn't a suitable location for a Waitrose store.
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Old January 21st, 2011, 08:17 PM   #231
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If it had been where Tesco Metro is in the old Woolies unit it would have been able to print money I reckon. That place is always rammed and if you go in late in the day the shelves are bear.
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Old January 22nd, 2011, 12:20 PM   #232
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If it had been where Tesco Metro is in the old Woolies unit it would have been able to print money I reckon. That place is always rammed and if you go in late in the day the shelves are bear.
I agree! I believe Waitrose could be successful in Durham, but the previous location in The Gates was entirely wrong.

A smaller convenience-type Waitrose store in the Market Place / Prince Bishops area might work well, like the city centre store that I saw in Leeds yesterday (probably about half the size of the Eldon Square Waitrose).
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 03:52 AM   #233
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The location for any retailer in The Gates is completly wrong and I believe the delay in finding a retailer to take over such a large space in a city centre shows this. Wilkinsons may be just the right retailer though. Over the past few years and even more so since Waitrose left, The Gates seems to be positioning itself as a 'cut price area' with stores such as Poundland, The X Catalouge etc. I think that Wilkinsons opening will have a knock on effect to Yorkshire Trading Co next door however as they sell pretty similar line. (Correct me if Yorkshire Trading is no longer there). As a value retailer, Wilkinsons should fit in well in that location.
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 04:14 AM   #234
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The location for any retailer in The Gates is completly wrong and I believe the delay in finding a retailer to take over such a large space in a city centre shows this. Wilkinsons may be just the right retailer though. Over the past few years and even more so since Waitrose left, The Gates seems to be positioning itself as a 'cut price area' with stores such as Poundland, The X Catalouge etc. I think that Wilkinsons opening will have a knock on effect to Yorkshire Trading Co next door however as they sell pretty similar line. (Correct me if Yorkshire Trading is no longer there). As a value retailer, Wilkinsons should fit in well in that location.
Yorkshire Trading is still there and I entirely agree that they'll be going up against each other. You'd expect Wilkinsons to win out.
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 01:27 PM   #235
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Aye, ---think Wilkinsons do well where ever they set up.
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Old January 25th, 2011, 06:24 PM   #236
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Thanks for the replies re Waitrose, all. They're apparently looking to double turnover by 2016 so I wonder if any other sites in the region are earmarked for a store in the next five years or so?
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Old January 25th, 2011, 06:26 PM   #237
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Today the proprietor of the excellent Sweet Home Alabama shop at Mackie's Corner voices his fears about the effect on trade of city centre roadworks. From the Echo:


Trouble in the pipeline for Sunderland shops




A FED-UP sweet shop owner says ongoing gas works are bad for business.

Martin O’Neill, of Sweet Home Alabama in Sunderland city centre, first hit out when contractors for the Sunniside Partnership were slow to replace pavements outside his store last year.

So he was horrified to see work starting again at the junction between High Street West and Fawcett Street, this time as part of a programme to modernise gas pipes.

The pavement outside Sweet Home Alabama was ripped up in January last year as part of ongoing regeneration of the area.

But work ground to a halt while new paving stones were shipped 5,000 miles from China to Sunderland.

Martin was amazed when constructors working for Lumsden and Carroll told him what was causing the delay.


Full story here: http://www.sunderlandecho.com/news/l...hops_1_2962122
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Old January 25th, 2011, 08:59 PM   #238
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You can see why MON is so frustrated its a crazy situation.
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Old January 26th, 2011, 12:06 PM   #239
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You can see why MON is so frustrated its a crazy situation.
Those works seem to have been ongoing for some time now like.
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Old January 26th, 2011, 12:15 PM   #240
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Thanks for the replies re Waitrose, all. They're apparently looking to double turnover by 2016 so I wonder if any other sites in the region are earmarked for a store in the next five years or so?
Jesmond (convenience store) is supposed to be opening this year, while Newcastle Great Park and Morpeth have both been mentioned as rumoured locations (http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-e...1634-22088094/).

At some point, it's reasonable to expect that Waitrose will re-enter County Durham, and there's probably scope for one in an upmarket Teesside location (Yarm?) as well.
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