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 Post subject: Darlo's High Street
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:34 am 
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In common with a lot of town high street's Darlington is really suffering. We've already heard that Marks & Sparks and Neu Look are closing and today there is the bad news that the House of Fraser in the town centre is now going to be closed. I think things will only get worse as everybody buys things online or from out of town shopping centres. The Council I believe are also to blame with their excessive car park charges. Even the area opposite the vue cinema that was earmarked for a leisure development is now going to be turned into yet another office complex.


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 Post subject: Re: Darlo's High Street
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:39 am 
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Darlo_Pete wrote:
Even the area opposite the vue cinema that was earmarked for a leisure development is now going to be turned into the new town hall offices when it dawns that no-one wants it..


FTFY as although I'm a potential target tenant staff need an easy commute with free parking. Hence no one except the council will want it.


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 Post subject: Re: Darlo's High Street
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:54 am 
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A friend and I were discussing this recently, prior to the House of Fraser announcement. Darlington Council , like many others were seduced by developers and Supermarkets. Little or no consideration for the long term impact on Town Centres. Indeed Dixon & Co. still seem unable to Dance out of the spotlight, hence the recent North Road development a stone throw from the Town Centre. Not certain how the once thriving heart of towns can be re captured, however excessive parking charges, enforced by over zealous wardens certainly hinders prosperity. Excessive rents & rates are other obstacles that need addressing if there is to be any hope of a recovery. There is probably a need for a National Strategy for Town centre recovery as what I see around most North East Town Centres are , Phone shops, nail bars & Bookies. Little wonder footfall is dwindling.


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 Post subject: Re: Darlo's High Street
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 9:04 am 
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House of Fraser currently have 59 stores in the UK.

This closure plan will see 31 of these stores close, including the one on Oxford Street in London and the one in Birmingham City Centre. If they are closing stores they have on the most famous shopping street in the UK and also a city centre location in the second biggest city in the country stores in the likes of Darlington, Middlesbrough, Grimsby, Carlisle etc etc don't stand a chance, regardless of the policies of their local councils.

Whilst I'm not a fan of the way DBC do things, I imagine that whatever they did would not have made any difference. The main factor in the continued shrinking of and collapse of retail chains is the change in the habits of the consumer.

The vast majority of people shop online, social habits have changed as well, people work more hours so have less time to shop, wages for a lot of people have been stagnant for years due to austerity so have less money in their pockets, central government have raised the rates and rents shop tenants have to pay.

It's a perfect storm of circumstances that have contributed to the ongoing decline of shop offerings. People hark back to the good old days of when town centres were hubs that people shopped and socialised in, most people don't do that now as they shop on the internet and communicate using technology etc. When I was a kid you wanted to buy something you had to go into town and physically buy it from a shop, you want it now you can google it and have it ordered in minutes without leaving your sofa.

Out of town retail parks will thrive as they offer free parking and lots of parking that means you can practically park outside of the door of the stores that are there.

Town centres, not just ours but all towns at the moment and then eventually big cities need to find new uses/purposes for their centres, as they have no future as shopping destinations and that has been their main purpose for probably over a century. There are so many really good small independant retailers in town that struggle to survive because people can order similar stuff off of Amazon for pennies in seconds.

It's incredibly sad, and in all of this the people we need to think about are those that are losing their jobs.


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 Post subject: Re: Darlo's High Street
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:23 pm 
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eek wrote:
Darlo_Pete wrote:
Even the area opposite the vue cinema that was earmarked for a leisure development is now going to be turned into the new town hall offices when it dawns that no-one wants it..


FTFY as although I'm a potential target tenant staff need an easy commute with free parking. Hence no one except the council will want it.


Sorry that is a new office block. The council seem to be unable to attract the sort of leisure facilities that will bring people into the town centre. That space between the vue cinema and the new multi storey car park, would have been ideal for a 10 pin bowling alley. I guess the venue at Teesside Park is a bit too close to Darlington.


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 Post subject: Re: Darlo's High Street
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 1:44 pm 
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Darlo_Pete wrote:
eek wrote:
Darlo_Pete wrote:
Even the area opposite the vue cinema that was earmarked for a leisure development is now going to be turned into the new town hall offices when it dawns that no-one wants it..


FTFY as although I'm a potential target tenant staff need an easy commute with free parking. Hence no one except the council will want it.


Sorry that is a new office block. The council seem to be unable to attract the sort of leisure facilities that will bring people into the town centre. That space between the vue cinema and the new multi storey car park, would have been ideal for a 10 pin bowling alley. I guess the venue at Teesside Park is a bit too close to Darlington.


The market for 10 pin bowling isn't that big. The one in Northallerton died due to lack of demand, and Lane 7 (posh Newcastle based 10 pin bowling firm) looked at the new Sports Direct shop (old TK Maxx) before walking away.


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 Post subject: Re: Darlo's High Street
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:57 am 
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Why is the demise of town centres / high streets negative? It is only happening because not many people want them so why do we have to "fight" to keep something no one wants. People will lose jobs, but other people have gained jobs due to the growth of retail parks and on-line shopping. High street buildings can find a new purpose if allowed.

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"At a meeting held at the Grammar School on Friday last - Mr Phillip Wood M.A., in the chair - it was resolved to form an Association Football Club for Darlington and neighbourhood. The opinions of those present were so unanimous as to the desirability of this step, that a committee was formed to complete the organisation of the club, and Mr Craven, 17, Garden Street, was appointed secretary pro tem." - The Northern Echo, Monday 23rd July 1883


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 Post subject: Re: Darlo's High Street
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 6:48 pm 
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M&S is no loss - they complain that people are shopping online and that has caused the closure but last time i was in there they said that they didn't have what i wanted and I should buy it online!


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 Post subject: Re: Darlo's High Street
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:15 am 
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DARL wrote:
M&S is no loss - they complain that people are shopping online and that has caused the closure but last time i was in there they said that they didn't have what i wanted and I should buy it online!


Disagree that it's not a big loss, the likes of M & S draw people into the town and if it is no longer there, then there is no need to come into Darlo and spend their money. At least it's slightly better news about House Of Fraser, but apparently the store remaining open is only guaranteed until I believe Easter 2019 and I wouldn't trust Mike Ashley as far as I can throw him and that's not very far!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Darlo's High Street
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:53 am 
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Clearly Town Centres are not delivering what the public currently want as a retail experience. The move to online shopping and retail parks with free parking etc. have accelerated the process. No town or City centre will be immune. A National Strategy, properly funded, perhaps based around specialist, artisan business and leisure seems a good start. Integrated centralised housing to service business needs are starting to pop up all over the place, even in Darlo you seem not to be able to place a cigarette paper between some of the builds and pedestrians. Town centres are not so much dying as evolving


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 Post subject: Re: Darlo's High Street
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:08 pm 
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Darlo_Pete wrote:
DARL wrote:
M&S is no loss - they complain that people are shopping online and that has caused the closure but last time i was in there they said that they didn't have what i wanted and I should buy it online!


Disagree that it's not a big loss, the likes of M & S draw people into the town and if it is no longer there, then there is no need to come into Darlo and spend their money. At least it's slightly better news about House Of Fraser, but apparently the store remaining open is only guaranteed until I believe Easter 2019 and I wouldn't trust Mike Ashley as far as I can throw him and that's not very far!!!

Maybe Ashley’s got a short term rent reduction and will see how it goes, use it or loose it springs to mind. Must say if that went where would you buy as I Levi jeans in town? Can’t think of anywhere else.


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 Post subject: Re: Darlo's High Street
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:09 pm 
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You could convert large vacant buildings into flats which would also increase business for those shops left however where would these new residents park. Retail parks seem way forward but pain in the arce if you don’t have a car, not many are central


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