SHOPS WILL COME & GO You have to be of a certain age to remember the Woolworths…
SHOPS WILL COME & GO
You have to be of a certain age to remember the Woolworths Store in Totton. It is hard to exaggerate the importance of the store that was always a mainstay of my childhood growing up in Totton, whether it was spending my pocket money on the pick and mix sweets, or eyeing up the toys and a thousand and one other things that I intended to buy once I had become rich (still waiting for that day).
It was a sad day when the company collapsed and closed all its' stores, including the one in Totton precinct. However, life moves on and other stores usually move in to replace the ones that have been lost.
However, I think trading conditions are especially difficult for shops now, not just because of the Covid-19 restrictions but because almost everyone has switched to buying things online for home delivery.
I read that the owner of Amazon earned £13 Billion in one day last week. £13 Billion in one day!!!! Think of that.
Meanwhile, local shops are struggling with difficult trading conditions and still having to pay rental and business rates.
I think the time has come to recognise the value of our local shops and give them tax breaks that will help level up the playing field when it comes to competing with online services.
Perhaps companies like Amazon should pay more tax that could go towards supporting local retailers with things like brightening up town centres, free car parking, employment of Town Centre Managers etc.?
Overall, the two big political parties don't seem over concerned about what's happening to town centres. We have had the sticking plaster of help during the Covid-19 restrictions, but where is the long term policy that will help us keep what we all value?
As always, interested in your thoughts…..
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