Pane in the Glass

Everyday journal of Fiona Glass

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Reality bites...

Credit crunch, economic downturn, call it what you like, but it's starting to get noticeable.  On our local high street in the last few weeks we've lost: a chain-store sports wear company (probably gone bust); Clintons Cards (mysteriously closed); McDonalds (yes, McDonalds - mysteriously closed); Select (cheap womens' fashions, probably gone bust); Rosebys (gone bust); and now we're likely to lose Woolworths as well.  On a relatively small high street, it makes a sizeable hole - and that's just the big names.  Other, smaller businesses are closing every week. 

Mind you, I can't say I blame them.  Last week I went into the huge W H Smith in Birmingham city centre.  it's the size of several aircraft hangars *g* with magazines etc downstairs and an enormous area upstairs for books, dvds, music, stationery, cards, and business equipment.  Apart from me, I think there were four people wandering around.  Nobody was queueing at the tills when I took my purchases to pay.  And when I went back to buy something I'd forgotten, there was still no queue - and three of the other four customers had gone.  It was a very strange feeling, in a store that used to be packed.

Is anyone else noticing the same sort of thing?

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Not much, no. In fact, I was surprised to see some shops sprucing themselvs up, including a complete overhaul of McDonalds. I only noticed some of the crappier chains closing, but in many ways that's their own fault, they sold cheap tat, such as Rosebys.

But then again I live in an affluent area near an affluent city which will always have lots of tourists, so I guess it'll be less obvious around here, and on a smaller scale. Still, the prices have certainly gone up.

You're lucky. We live in an affluent suburb of a prosperous city too (with more tourism than you might think!) and I was hoping it would avoid us. But obviously not. Now Halfords is hanging by a thread - that'll be yet another empty store if it goes...

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