Business leaders have warned residents in a South Devon town to "use us or lose us" as a regeneration project gets underway.
The £1.5 million scheme to rejuvenate Dawlish Strand will start later this month in an attempt to reverse the decline in the town.
The joint initiative between several local authorities has been developed over the past two and a half years with public consultations held to help shape the layout.
Although the majority of the work will be carried out with the road open to traffic, it will be closed for two weeks from January 28.
I do quite a bit of my shopping locally, but I'm getting a little bit tired of this "use us or lose us" theme being banged on about all the time. Isn't it about time that some local retailers begin to realise that that it's more a case of shoppers thinking "give us a reason to use you, or lose us"
Some have been making an effort (in my opinion), notably Costcutters, the new Geralds for example. Others just seem to offer the same old,same old, with a couple now even closing earlier during the week.
The onus is on You, not the customer, especially as more options are happening out of town.
I lived in Dawlish 10 years ..in that time the shops were little supported by locals. Remember this is way before Sainsburys arrived. Trade was always down to visitors, without them there was little point in a shop.. I see no point opening a shop in winter when streets deserted, just for the locals to say 'nobody goes in there'...they have always had great pleasure out of failure. Mind, all the business have always been expected to 'give' stock for raffles to various locals orgainised events hmmm.
So as locals have proved they dont want shops, I would capatalise on the lawn area somehow, get rid of the cars, make it a even nicer place to go to.. Could be good.
Sorry to say this but having visited the new Morrisons in Teignmouth last night, there is no way any shop or store in Dawlish can or will compete with the shopping experience on offer there.
It even shows Sainsbury's up for the dump it really is and of course their fuel is 3p cheaper as promised.
As for Mr Force's comment "use us or loss us" its a shame nobody bothered about that when Sainsburys arrived. Its not only the town center shops suffering you know.
Anyway its to late to change now, and I believe anyone with retail outlet money to invest would be taking one hell of a risk in Dawlish. The town is dead and any investment aimed at the holiday trade should be made on the Warren.
On reading the past three comments i couldn't agree more. The town is dead and no amount of money spent on refurbising the pavement or making better parking will not make any difference to local traders, more to the pity. Just look at the Strand what has a visitor to look forward to. So let's cut down some tree's debatable if deceased. Upon looking at the first tree cut down this morning and the interior of the tree looked perfectly healthy to me and looked solid as a rock. The local area has three major supermarkets Tesco,Sainsburys and now Morrisons, there is no way that local traders could ever expect to compete. Vistors that do come Dawlish in a car have to keep running back to the car to pay for another hour for parking they cant even explore the town for fear of getting a ticket. Yes the deline as one post states the decline has been happening over many years and quite frankly to late to recover. Put all the benches and flower arrangments you like but it will not turn the tide.
I visited friends in town tonight (Tuesday) at 7pm and walked the length of the Strand, oh my, so depressing. What on earth is going on? I suggest others should do this one evening at the same time and make an honest opinion. I am sorry but if anyone visited with a view to open a shop you would have to go look elsewhere to a town where there is a at least a chance of some business. If the Coop packs in next, I really dont know what will go there. The likes of Poundland, Wilkinsons and Iceland which I suspect people would like most, I just cant see then setting up as Exeter and Newton branches are so close and they would be aware of shopping patterns, that people already travel out of Dawlish to shop.
So be thankful you have the sea and coastline.. can only think is need to promote that and build on eating places and coffee shops for visitors..
It is very interesting to read the comments here. The problems faced by the traders are deep-seated and shared by so many towns around the Country. I do agree that a number of the shops must take a long hard look at themselves and go that extra mile to attract shoppers and make them feel welcome.
After many years of neglect by Teignbridge, Dawlish really does have an opportunity in 2013 to begin the process of re-inventing itself as a destination of choice for day-trippers and holidaymakers. It is very sad that people are already writing off the regeneration as a waste of time and money. At least have a look at what is happening and then make a judgement. A lot of people have worked very hard for a very long time to make this a reality.
it will be closed for two weeks from January 28. -
Whilst I accept that the Strand has to close, I do feel that shoppers will get so used to going elsewhere to shop they will stay doing it that way
User I think you are wrong.
I shopped in town today 3 shops
Must say though I don't like being moaned at, maybe I 'll think twice about going into that shop again as the road works lack of parking is really nothing to do with me.
against the grain of what I normally do, I went Morrisons today and got enough fresh meat, veg etc to take me through to Friday when I will go again, I havnt got time to try and find a parking space among the roadworks and when its closed havnt got time again to park in a car park and struggle with bags of heavy shopping
If you didnt Channel4 Despatches last night on prices of fruit and veg ..you can watch here >
I always thought it was cheaper to buy veg in small shops..supermarkets have always capatalised on people who do their shop in one place..
All the dispatches programme pointed out is that people can't be bothered to actually work out the cost of goods per weight and believe the supermarket 'offer' signs. I simply compare the price by weight and having bought a lot of veg till recently know that many supermarket prices are often half the cost of buying from a small shop, look at the price of bananas, sweet potatoes as 2 examples.
Typical supermarket price of loose bananas is 68p a kilo but if you weigh the prepacked bananas they work out as much as £3 a kilo. I don't blame any retailer, big or small for getting as much as they can for their products.
I've noticed a lot of supermarkets doing bags of stuff for £1 or £2 etc, these are usually very expensive if you compare the price per kilo but customers like to pick up a bag at a fixed price which often cost 2-3 times the price of buying loose product, it's the customers choice to buy or not.
The world has changed, High Street Shops died because people stopped using them, you can't regenerate something that is dead, that's called Resurrection.
In addition to what @wriggler above said, I had a look in Sainsburys a few days ago and purchased a pack of Jam Doughnuts.
There were Five doughnuts in the bag which cost me the princely sum of 65p.
Now, call me disloyal to local shops, but why should I go to a bakers in the Strand to buy a jam doughnut for 65p EACH when I can buy a pack of 5 for the same price and which the kids enjoy just the same?
And when on offer they are 2 for 1 pound 10p each and they are so good.
I saw fragments of unrealised dreams
in the starred window
where an old poster for the National Lottery proclaimed,
“It could be you.”
Free newspapers were heaped inside the door,
still being delivered despite the dereliction.
Bootfranked post lay scattered
and trampled on the floor amidst dead flies
and a broken ladder had been thrown in a corner
beside an upside-down till.
A damp-stained cardboard rainbow
leaned against the wall.
The crate of cobwebbed bottles
would afford no refund on hopes
or investment in futures.
Notices on the door
announced the name of the bank
which had acquired the lease
and a “Bingo Night” at a local church.
Nothing beside remained.
Above the decay,
dust glittered like tears,
suspended in the sunlight.
25th January 2013
Yes, very good Don.