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Old January 27th, 2009, 12:10 PM   #1081
i_like_concrete
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I also hate the fact Birmingham doesn't have an American Apparel.
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Old January 27th, 2009, 12:31 PM   #1082
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AMEN TO THAT.

The Bullring has done exactly what it says on the tin, centralise all retail in Birmingham into one shopping mall, people arrive in Birmingham by train or car and thanks to the various links need ever actually go outside and experience the city because they can just flounce around the bullring for all their shopping needs. It actually horrifies me.
I kinda agree with that. I have friends visiting from Leicester just for shopping and they'll park at the Bullring, shop and drive straigth back.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonTheSoundMan
I want to ask you all this, do you believe that Martineau Gallries will have a positive effect on areas such as Corporation and New streets, and perhaps Eastside?
No. It'll drag more shops into the centre and create more empty units in the older, less flexible buildings on new st and corporation st.
No sure about that. The top end of Corporation street is a chav infested horrible place to be. Most decent shoppers avoid it at any cost. My girlfriend was looking to open a shop in the city centre and she knows first hand how difficult is to attract decent people around that part of the city centre. Martineau galleries is a mix use project combining a decent amount of office and living space (plus a brand new odeon, I heard). It will massively improve the flow of people between the East and west sides of the city centre.
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Old January 27th, 2009, 12:59 PM   #1083
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But in fairness to the developers of the bull ring, and the council, when the bullring was in planning there were a strict list of condition attached to the planning application which were put in place to lessen such a thing occuring, a prime example being

- no existiong anchor stores or stores over 75,000 sqft (i think but the actual fugure escapes me) within the retail core will be allowed to take up units within the proposed centre and only new department store will be allowed to occupy the proposed departments stores (so debenhams and selfriges)

- the prportion of eateries are to be be limited to 10% of retail units (i believe a maximum of 15 are allowed) to ensure being are encouraged to exit the shopping centre to access other services (a proposed food hall as part of the plans had to be withdrawn)

- 25% of employes have to be Birmingham based!

now whethe ryou like it or not, the bullring WILL and ALWAYS would have had an impact, but a much less detrimental impact than keeping the original 1960s structure. i also believe much of the same thing occured when the orginal mall opened but things like this happen thoughout the life of a city. be thankful that there are reason to leave the bullring (M&S, Boots, HoF and the then Virgin and Waterstones) which were all baned from opening stores in the bullring!

The point of the matter is that in this state there are a number of opportunity, independant retails for once may get the opportunity to get units in locations they normally wouldnt (very low rents) and those shops which are outdated and inflexable are shown for the faliures they are/may become and are prime for development oce the 'green shoots' or a recovery raise their heads!
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Old January 27th, 2009, 02:29 PM   #1084
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No sure about that. The top end of Corporation street is a chav infested horrible place to be. Most decent shoppers avoid it at any cost. My girlfriend was looking to open a shop in the city centre and she knows first hand how difficult is to attract decent people around that part of the city centre. Martineau galleries is a mix use project combining a decent amount of office and living space (plus a brand new odeon, I heard). It will massively improve the flow of people between the East and west sides of the city centre.[/QUOTE]


I agree. If you look at a map and note the size of it, the whole area containing the Martineau Galleries site, Snow Hill, Dental & Childrens Hospitals and the courts/legal areas has no 'destination appeal' at all. There's only one decent restaurant that I can think of in that whole section (Michelle's Brasserie), the pubs are generally downmarket - Sq Peg, Crown and the dodgy one downstairs near Argos! (Have been in a couple myself so I'm not being a snob!). To me, the area just has a depressing feel, especially in the evenings. If Martineau Galleries has the right mix of retail, leisure, office and residential, then it will only be good for this side of town and will provide a 'life-giving' link between Eastside, Masshouse and Snow Hill and hopefully bring a bit more life to the surrounding area.
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Old January 27th, 2009, 05:46 PM   #1085
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Barretts shoes and Priceless shoes are in administration. Between them I think they have 400 UK stores. I couldn't tell you where the ones in Birmingham are but I expect there are couple not forgetting other retail areas in the wider Birmingham area.
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Old January 27th, 2009, 09:29 PM   #1086
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There's a barrats in the bullring and one on new street.
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Old January 27th, 2009, 09:36 PM   #1087
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Shoe Zone are too, one in the Bullring.

The Bullring has always had an effect, the older shopping centre had a massive pull for a couple of decades like the current one. Only at the end of the 1980's did the old Bullring go down hill.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 12:00 AM   #1088
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Quote:
Drive to attract independent retailers to Birmingham city centre
Jan 28 2009 by Anna Blackaby, Birmingham Post

Shopping in Birmingham is set to get a much-needed dose of individuality as a programme to attract independent retailers to the city centre gets under way.

Birmingham City Council’s newly-launched Retail Development Programme aims to support existing retailers and attract new independent brands to the city centre.

The scheme, which has been launched as a pilot running from January until March this year, will provide financial assistance as well as business support and advice for independents.

Retailers can apply for grants of up to ú10,000 to cover half of premises set-up costs such as rents, rates and installing heating and lighting.

The scheme is also being supported by Business Link West Midlands which will offer up to three days free business support, and Retail Birmingham, which can provide assistance with networking, marketing and promotions.

The support programme stems from a meeting held last year between retail and brand communication guru Mary Portas and owners of city centre independents, brainstorming ways the sector can be supported.

According to city council figures, there are currently 105 independent shops in Birmingham city centre. Ms Portas was drafted in to find ways to boost this number in order to forge a distinctive shopping experience for the city.

A scheme to better promote Birmingham’s Victorian shopping arcades such as the Piccadilly Arcade and Great Western Arcade, which are home to several independents, was also floated at the meeting with Ms Portas.

Birmingham City Council business officer Barbara Kelly said: “There were various action points that came out of the Mary Portas Masterclass event, but one of the main ones was the need to support independent retailers in their efforts to establish themselves or expand their shops in Birmingham.

“The aim is to develop a unique shopping experience in Birmingham and in order to do that we need to attract, retain and support the independents.”

Ms Kelly stressed the Retail Development Programme is a pilot project and will serve as a testing ground for a wider programme to be launched later this year.

“We listened to those who attended the Masterclass and developed this pilot around their comments and suggestions, but it is an organic process, and we intend to learn from those who come through now before we put a more extensive programme together to be launched in the next few months,” she said.

“The intention is for this programme to assist retailers both in the city centre and on the local High Streets, and is especially important in the current economic climate.”

Some believe that independent shops can offer a glimmer of hope for the embattled retail sector. The think-tank New Economics Foundation says independent shops can bring more benefits to a local economy than multiples as well as being more resilient in a recession.
http://www.birminghampost.net/birmin...5233-22793280/
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Old January 28th, 2009, 04:21 AM   #1089
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The area of Corporation St after Old Square is a lovely part of town and should encourage independent retailers, especially as lots of Aston and BC Uni students walk up it during the day.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 06:54 PM   #1090
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonTheSoundMan View Post
Shoe Zone are too, one in the Bullring.

The Bullring has always had an effect, the older shopping centre had a massive pull for a couple of decades like the current one. Only at the end of the 1980's did the old Bullring go down hill.
The Bull Ring went down hill much longer before then. Within 5 years of it opening, people were choosing not to go there and in the 1970s, units were closing and the whole place was deteriorating. I think it was the vast amount of investment into activities and features that the owners made which stopped deteriorating at a faster rate than it did!
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Old January 28th, 2009, 08:12 PM   #1091
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Originally Posted by Erebus555 View Post
The Bull Ring went down hill much longer before then. Within 5 years of it opening, people were choosing not to go there and in the 1970s, units were closing and the whole place was deteriorating. I think it was the vast amount of investment into activities and features that the owners made which stopped deteriorating at a faster rate than it did!
Very true. i remember it in the late 80's. It was in a shocking state. God Saturday afternoon being dragged around the fish market.
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Old January 29th, 2009, 12:53 AM   #1092
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I first went in the late '70's/early '80's. It was an appalling dump then; I remember being shocked at what an embarrassingly shoddy place it was. Awful.
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Old January 29th, 2009, 02:14 AM   #1093
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I remember how long it used to take to walk from New St station through the various walkways and malls to go down the escalators into the area where Woolworths was. Outside there was the spiral ramp and the boozer on the end of the platform. And if you wanted to go from New St, High St, you started the sub-terranean trip past the cheap suits shop and lifestyle shop, turned left then right past the zigzaggy market stalls and down the ramp to the cobbled area near to St Martins. God it was concrete heaven back then!
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Old January 29th, 2009, 02:26 AM   #1094
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I've got some fond memories of the old bullring. Partly as I was young and in awe of the big city. First forrays into going off on my own. Crossing the ringroad by the Wades building felt like crossing a busy motorway and the old bullring had a charm. It was very much working class down to earth brummies then.

And the rag market and other markets were like how i'd imagine Markets in the Far East, bristling with life.
I'm not saying it's better or worse now or then. Just reminiscing. Love looking at old photos and seeing bits I remember and looking at what was.

It's quite amazing to think it's 10 years since the old Bull ring started to close and demolition work started with the new bullring over 5 years old now. My how time flies.
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Old January 29th, 2009, 01:43 PM   #1095
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Zavvi to close another 15 stores

More than half of Zavvi's stores have been closed this year

The administrators of Zavvi, the music, games and DVD chain have announced the immediate closure of another 15 stores, with the loss of 295 jobs.

They have now closed 55 UK stores, with 826 job losses, since the company went into administration on Christmas Eve.

The remaining 48 stores in the UK will remain open. The administrators are hoping to sell the business and have no plans to close the whole store network.

The troubled chain has been badly affected by the demise of Woolworths.

"With reducing stock levels we have had to manage our cost base accordingly and close a further 15 stores," said Tom Jack at administrator Ernst & Young.

STORE CLOSURES AND JOB LOSSES

Birmingham, 29
Bromley, 28
Canterbury, 13
Colchester, 17
East Kilbride, 7
Exeter, 28
Ipswich, 17
Kensington, London, 15
Kings Road, London, 23
Merry Hill, 21
Newcastle, 31
Norwich, 25
Oxford, 16
Stirling, 8
Taunton, 17

"At this time, we are continuing to look to further progress interest from a number of interested parties and consequently do not have a formal closure plan for the entire network," he added.

Zavvi's main supplier was Woolworths' unit Entertainment UK (EUK), which went into administration in late November.

Since then, Zavvi has had difficulties in sourcing stock and has been forced to enter new trading arrangements.

Before the company fell into administration, it operated a network of 114 stores in the UK.

Nine have since been sold to HMV, two were due for closure before the administrators were called in, and 55 have been closed by Ernst & Young.

Zavvi was formed after a management buy-out of the Virgin Megastore division of the Virgin Group in September 2007.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7857899.stm
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Old January 29th, 2009, 03:33 PM   #1096
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Yeah, one of the people at work just come back from lunch and they said Zavvi is closed on High Street.
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Old January 29th, 2009, 03:42 PM   #1097
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Boots takes over Dollond & Aitchison
Jan 29 2009 by Jon Griffin, Birmingham Mail

BIRMINGHAM opticians chain Dollond and Aitchison will be swallowed by Boots – including its long-established Aston headquarters.

Its head office will switch to Nottingham but the impact on the 200 workers at Rocky Lane, Aston, its headquarters since 1969, is unclear.

The merger will create the second largest UK optical chain with 690 branches, employing more than 5,000.

The Dollond and Aitchison name will disappear although it may be retained for products.Today’s announcement comes three months after Dollond and Aitchison closed its flagship Bullring store after nearly five years of trading.

In October the group denied it was in financial difficulties and said it managed to avoid compulsory redundancies among 13 full and part-time Bullring employees.

A statement on the Boots merger today said: “It is envisaged Dollond & Aitchison branches will adopt the Boots Opticians brand.

“Both businesses have a strong heritage and excellent reputation for service and customer care, providing a great opportunity to combine these strengths under one brand with a differentiated product offering.”

Dollond and Aitchison was acquired ten years ago by De Rigo, market leader in the design, manufacture, and marketing of high-quality eyewear, and one of the largest optical retailers in Europe.

“Alliance Boots will hold a controlling stake in the new company which will be jointly owned with De Rigo. It will be run as a stand-alone business and it is proposed the headquarters will be based in Nottingham,” the statement said. “In the new business, Pradip Patel (MD of Boots Opticians) will become chairman and Andy Ferguson (CEO of Dollond & Aitchison) will be managing director.”

The transaction, subject to the approval of competition authorities, is expected to be completed in the second quarter.

Maurizio Dessolis, vice chairman, De Rigo, said: “The proposed merger will bring together complementary strengths. We are confident with this opportunity for expansion it will thrive as a leading eyecare provider.”
http://www.birminghammail.net/news/t...7319-22810046/
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Old February 13th, 2009, 08:47 PM   #1098
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American Apparel to open in Ireland
13 February, 2009

US young fashion chain American Apparel will open its first store in the Republic of Ireland by the end of the year.


The chain, which has 13 stores in the UK, is finalising a deal to open a store in Dublin’s Grafton Street.


Mark Smith, director at real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle, which is scouting for locations for American Apparel, said: “The obvious targets are Edinburgh, Birmingham, Leeds, London and Newcastle upon Tyne, and units of at least 2,500sq ft.”
http://www.drapersonline.com/news/yo...000749.article
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Old February 13th, 2009, 09:01 PM   #1099
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WOOOOOOOO
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Old February 13th, 2009, 09:22 PM   #1100
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Cool, just been on the website and the clothes are great, going to get a sweater off it next week. My type of cloths!
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