High street verse online shopping and the search continues

Make at 140 inside

I returned from a holiday on Tuesday to my fabulous shop, we weren’t open so I caught up on paperwork and emails etc. I have been on quite an interesting journey since then chatting to customers about moving and everything that goes with it, so I thought I would give you a little update.

If you didn’t know, we are due to leave 140 Vauxhall St in Sept and move to a new premise, people keep asking “Where are you going?” “Go on tell us the secret where are you moving?” and totally honestly every time I have to say
“There’s no secret we don’t know!”

I decide to leave 140 to go bigger better, If I had stayed I would have to sign up for another 3 years here and that just wasn’t possible financially, we needed to go bigger to make this work.

So there is my challenge, I would like a premises that is bigger and cheaper! HA! I hear you say, well yes exactly, that is not easy in Plymouth.

House of Fraser today announced the closure of 31 of it’s stores, one of them being Plymouth. I read the Facebook comments etc about why, and what would happen etc but it just comes down to the internet verse high street!

This news sparkled off quite a few chats with customers today about what is going to happen and what will happen in Plymouth, with our high street as we know it and really there is no answer.
Small and big businesses these days just can not afford the high street rent and rates!

We, I believe are coming back around to wanting to support our local independent businesses, our local high street but I do think that the way we live now doesn’t support this unless independent/high street businesses move with the times and accommodate how we live these days.

I would really like to buy from the local fruit and veg man, the local butcher and obviously the local baker but most of the time I am unable to do so because of convenience. We used to live in households where there was one person maybe who didn’t work, they could shop during the day, but that isn’t the case anymore we need to shop when we finish work.

Bring on the food market that stays open until 8 pm and has free parking!

This won’t happen, I am tempted to change my times of opening to suit so I could say open at midday and close at 9pm every day, would that work? It’s a risk is it worth it? I do stay open until 9pm on a Wednesday and that is a good day so just maybe!

Make at night

So coming back to what I am saying, we as independent businesses need to move with the times, adapt our businesses all the time to suit the consumer, but there is the problem, the cost!

Looking for a new premise is proving difficult. The size I would need and the parking I would need is an issue, I actually have one that I have a planning application in with the council for but they keep throwing curve balls at me to make it difficult, the latest now being parking! Do they really want businesses in Plymouth to succeed?

It’s a bit of a battle to be honest, we want to continue but with the change in times, in retail, in the way we all shop, is it all worth it!


  • Justine

    Hi there, I just thought I’d throw my twopenneth in. I think your shop is a destination shop. I don’t think it has to be on the “High St”. I love the fact you have parking where you are and I do think that’s a very important consideration. Why not a unit? Like faraday mill or by The Range? I buy fabric from dave Nichols upholstery at faraday regularly. I can park and he has nice stuff and regular remnant sales. As long as you have a good on line presence, which you have, I think you’ll continue to do well. I’d avoid the city centre like the plague 😂

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