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I should really like a Borders Books to counteract the Waterstones-Blackwell duopoly but I doubt it would ever happen - they seem to prefer big-shed out-of-town shops, and if they can't make Oxford Street pay they're not going to open here.

Sad too to see Steedman's gone: now the only second hand bookshops are charity shops.
 

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The Legend
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I should really like a Borders Books to counteract the Waterstones-Blackwell duopoly but I doubt it would ever happen - they seem to prefer big-shed out-of-town shops, and if they can't make Oxford Street pay they're not going to open here.

Sad too to see Steedman's gone: now the only second hand bookshops are charity shops.
Yes, I too prefer Borders to Waterstones or even WHSmith. Unfortunatly they do tend to aim for out of town retail parks, hence it being in Silverlink. Though I do know of one in Glaagow City Centre. Though the Glasgow one was opend before they decided to aim at retail parks.

They would be a good choice for the former Zavvi/Virgin store though, if Barclays gets knocked back, anyone know of the decision date on that?
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 · (Edited)
I doubt there's going to be a Habitat anytime soon, there's even the potential that the whole company may be up for sale. That would seem to indicate they aren't making much money.
Its actually owned by the same group which own IKEA and theyve pumped a lot of money into it over the last few years to rid it of its rather unfair image (it suffered for a long time of criticism that it was stuck 'in the eighties'). It hasnt expanded too much of late, several stores have closed and its flagship stores arent pulling in the cash as once they did, but i would be surprised if it went up for sale again...in the current climate its hard to see who would buy it. Apart from Terence Conran who probably feels hes got a point to prove....

Edit: Interesting article, but it seems to have glossed over all the store closures and pulling out of Ireland...best not mention these things if the company is up for sale i guess...and the headline seems to leap to conclucions somewhat!
 

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I should really like a Borders Books to counteract the Waterstones-Blackwell duopoly but I doubt it would ever happen - they seem to prefer big-shed out-of-town shops, and if they can't make Oxford Street pay they're not going to open here.

Sad too to see Steedman's gone: now the only second hand bookshops are charity shops.
the bookstores in newcastle are absolutely horrific. i buy books all the time but havent bought one in town for probably 7 or 8 years. the selection is terrible, corporate, bland and mainstream. what we really need is a proper independent bookshop, not a second-hand charity shop, but the kind of place where the staff personally choose the books and keep up with lastest the literary movements from around the globe.
 

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Letting off the happiness
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Is there anyway that they could punch holes in the roof of the older parts of Eldon Square and put in a glass roof. They did this at the Bridges in Sunderland when they built the extention, which makes it feel so much more airy than Eldon Square. I've seen a few other older shopping centres in the UK where they've done this (Preston mall for example) and having natural light coming in makes it a much more pleasent experience.

The new Arndale Centre in Manchester is superb by the way. If the older bits of Eldon Square could be knocked down & replaced like they did down there I would be very happy. Particularly the Blacket Street stretch. The Arndale entrance onto Exchange Square in Manchester looks superb too (with it's giant Next). Something like this would really improve the centre as well as Eldon Square and the Monument.
 

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The Legend
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Is there anyway that they could punch holes in the roof of the older parts of Eldon Square and put in a glass roof. They did this at the Bridges in Sunderland when they built the extention, which makes it feel so much more airy than Eldon Square. I've seen a few other older shopping centres in the UK where they've done this (Preston mall for example) and having natural light coming in makes it a much more pleasent experience.

The new Arndale Centre in Manchester is superb by the way. If the older bits of Eldon Square could be knocked down & replaced like they did down there I would be very happy. Particularly the Blacket Street stretch. The Arndale entrance onto Exchange Square in Manchester looks superb too (with it's giant Next). Something like this would really improve the centre as well as Eldon Square and the Monument.
Yeah, hopefully the IRA decide not to blow up ES, even if it did mean Newcastle getting a giant Next store, which is what happend in Manchester.
 

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The Next in Manchester (and whole Arndale extention and Winter Gardens) really is superb mind. I tend to save my big shopping excursions for going down there as the range really is so much better. I'm not usually a big fan of malls but the new bit of the Arndale is the one mall in the whole country I can just about abide.
 

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I'd like to see an actual street created through from Northumberland Street to Eldon Square/New Bus Station. It wouldn't really take much as the link between Eldon Square and M&S is quite small and could be replaced by a overhead glass crossing similar to one i've seen in Manchester although i can't remember where it actually is.

 

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Also Jon, yeah i agree that Fenwick's isn't up there with Harvey Nics but its better than Debenhams, probably just above House of Frasers / John Lewis. I also agree about the Fenwicks entrance, why have a newsagents, pen store and crap 'granny wear' section. Either pull the cosmetics department forward or have a nice front lobby area; plus i'd wish they open the windows up and let some natural light in the store, you can still merchandise well. They'd probably only need walls for the xmas window.
 

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I'd like to see an actual street created through from Northumberland Street to Eldon Square/New Bus Station. It wouldn't really take much as the link between Eldon Square and M&S is quite small and could be replaced by a overhead glass crossing similar to one i've seen in Manchester although i can't remember where it actually is.

Yes, re-create the old Prudhoe Street that was always there until circa 1976. Standing on Northumberland Street, you had the original 'Northumberland Arms' (pretty much where the current one is) on the left hand corner, and M & S on the right hand corner, and you could walk up Prudhoe Street past the Prudhoe Street Mission on your right, which I think was a building that had become (may be wrong) the 'Dole Office', all the way to Percy Street. I have a photo somewhere, I'll try to insert it later.

But, a good idea to do what you suggest elliot.
 

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Sounds a nice idea, but not sure how successful it could be, that area is full of loading yards and the john lewis and fenwick pick up areas. They're pretty grim, and not at all pedestrian freidnly. Still, I'm sure there's a way to make it work.
 

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An interesting article in the Newcastle Journal today (21st October 2009) . . .

The MetroCentre and Eldon Square are two of the best known shopping centres in Britain and have done much to establish the region as a retail and leisure destination.

ELDON Square came first as the largest redevelopment of Newcastle’s central core and for some years was unchallenged as a shopping centre. Sir John Hall’s MetroCentre upset the apple cart in a significant way, drawing away from the city centre retail spend to what was billed as Europe’s largest shopping destination. Hard as it is to re-live those heady days when it is clear that high streets are presently seriously challenged by the recession, the cut and thrust between MetroCentre and Eldon Square was fascinating to watch. Who was going to MetroCentre and who was not was summed up at the time by one leading property journalist as "gladiatorial combat". The outcome two decades later is a calm balance between the two centres with Capital Shopping Centres (CSC) now driving both developments. MetroCentre had its Red Mall redevelopment and Eldon Square is now going through a significant redevelopment process.
 

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Yes, re-create the old Prudhoe Street that was always there until circa 1976. Standing on Northumberland Street, you had the original 'Northumberland Arms' (pretty much where the current one is) on the left hand corner, and M & S on the right hand corner, and you could walk up Prudhoe Street past the Prudhoe Street Mission on your right, which I think was a building that had become (may be wrong) the 'Dole Office', all the way to Percy Street. I have a photo somewhere, I'll try to insert it later.

But, a good idea to do what you suggest elliot.
Here are the promised Prudhoe Street photos. I think it is interesting to see the 'original' Northumberland Arms, knowing it is standing pretty much where the new one (post-1976) is now . . .

Looking up Prudhoe Street from Northumberland Street to Percy Street. Note the 'old' M&S is still there, prior to it's own late 1960s development into its current building, which has since been extended again, of course


At the extreme left of the above photo is the Northumberland Arms . . you cannot see it above, so here it is
 
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