Is your town centre dying?
As Brexit takes its toll of businesses of all types and sizes, town centres across the country are facing major stores and small family businesses shutting down and leaving boarded up premises. This starts a change reaction as the number of people making the effort to visit any town centre falls, the shops they wanted to visit have closed or moved away to out of town shopping areas.
Update April 2019
Here is a classic example of what is happening in Northampton and across towns all over Northamptonshire and the country. Peppertrees is closing. Who will be next, until the town centre is empty?
Brexit and the Internet are partly to blame
Firstly Brexit. It is the uncertainty of the future and how customers are delaying purchases to see what happens after Brexit. No surprise in that. The Internet and online purchases have had a devastating effect on town centres across the country. Companies have failed to address the problem until it is too late. Add into the mixture rising rates and property rents, the perfect shitstorm.
Shoppers like to shop locally if possible
Let’s face it, the majority of people now own a smartphone and use it to search for information and products. If a local business website does not turn up in a search, a competitors will. One good reason to use a local Business Directory like the Northampton Business Directory, is that it is easy to use, and easy to find local suppliers in Northamptonshire.
What can be done?
Many towns in America faced the same challenges, but a lot earlier than the UK, due to the widespread use of the Internet for business.
If you have a business in any Northamptonshire town centre, you can advertise from free from the Northampton Business Directory. We will even do it for you if you don’t know what to do.
People like a reason to visit a town centre, especially if it has a wide variety of local businesses and provides a pleasant friendly atmosphere.
There are opportunities to bring a town centre back to life, and not just during the day. Many buildings are under utilised and the building owners often have no interest in a town, apart from collecting rents. But even rents could be increased if the problem was tackled correctly. The town would also receive added income.
Free parking with easy access to the centre are very important, as are pedestrian only areas. There are no easy answers.
Update May 2019.
Decaying Northampton town centre
A quote from the BBC confirms “Northampton Borough Council hoped that £25m from the government’s Future High Streets Fund could be used to redevelop the town centre.”
Read the full article from the BBC