People are voicing their concerns regarding the town and high on the list is the number of businesses that have gone from the main street.
There are a number of reasons for this, too much duplication of the types of businesses, change of shopping habits and the cost of running the business premises (rent, rates and day to day costs).
Combine all of these and there is no easy fix.
I’m finding that many business haven’t stopped trading, they have just reduced their running costs.
They are moving over to new technology to reach their customer base.
We have all heard of The Cottage Industry, using a shed at the bottom of the garden, spare space at the back of the garage or if your partner lets you, the kitchen table or a small room upstairs once the kiddies have flown the nest. You know what I mean!
Let me assure you, the town is not dead, it is thriving in areas you wouldn’t believe. It’s just changing the way it does business.
Some of the businesses that were once seen on the main street are now using the internet to reach their customers. No need for an expensive shop front, you just need a computer and a place to store your merchandise.
I’m one of those cottage industries, the irony is that I run it from a cottage.
I manufacture model railway kits.
I have a website with a shopping cart; people place their order in the cart, pay through PayPal then I receive an email with all the information and postal address.
I then receive another email informing me that the payment has gone through. I can then print the label, place the goods in a bag and post it.
Clinical I know, and the face to face contact is missing.
I send my kit all over the world, even sold some to China.
I also supply the trade, large shops up and down the country and other small outlet at exhibitions.
So, do you think the town is dying or is it just changing the way it does business?
How many small cottage industries are out there?