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Main Street Downturn

 
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Paco



Joined: 20 Aug 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would not go as far to say that Main Street is only good for walking along and not shopping. I do however take your point regarding the large stores like Primark attracting local custom because of greater choice and cheaper prices. Better service? Not necessarily, like everything in the retail sector, it depends on where you go. Having said that, there are some new shops which have opened along Main Street, or just off Main Street, that offer the same types of goods that Primark do in similar price brackets so it is a question of what the individual consumer prefers.

Certainly, many shoppers like making a day out of going shopping with coaches leaving for Jerez, Malaga and other establishments within an hour or so's drive from Gib. The large bulk buy establishments to be found across the border, in addition to pressures from internet retailers, will certainly draw custom away from Main Street.

What Main Street has going for it though is clearly the local touch. Businesses that continue to succeed locally are those which continue to look after their customers in their own unique ways. One of my main criticisms of high streets the length and breath of the UK is that they all tend to look the same these days. Be it in Cardiff, Birmingham, Oxford or London; the average high street will have a Greggs bakery, Boots pharmacy, Argos shop, Starbucks etc. Gib's Main Street still has not succumbed to this phenomenon (although M&S, Burger King and the like are truly global brands) and so should be much more interesting from a shoppers point of view in terms of variety. The onus is clearly on local enterprises to remain as competitive as possible whilst giving the consumers what they need.
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Deadman



Joined: 26 May 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You don't go shopping on Main Street you use it to walk along. Antioch is right about the general lack of both choice and retailer. Essardas for instance have 6 jewellery shops on Main Street. Not their fault but perhaps it belies the fact that most people can't pick up the rent unless historically they have the property or have the lease. Also UK High Streets almost went out of business (a lot of units did) until the prices came down due to competition. It is no surprise most Gibraltarians head for Primark (Algeciras) for clothing and I believe when the Jerez store opened a couple of years back several bus loads went there from Gibraltar why? Cheaper, choice and better service. There are some shops on Main Street that do have customer service but most you feel want you for your money and are happy not to even try to hide the fact. Main Street fine get a coffee, watch the tourists pay top dollar or euro at ridiculous exchange rates or get a burger anything else is sheer folly.
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baby17gib



Joined: 16 Dec 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool
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Paco



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

monty wrote:
Personally I think this is to be expected given the nature and circumstances of things generally. I don't think this has anything to do with the global economic downturn in particular.

While we don't really have the 'out-of-town' shopping centres effect that big countries have, we do have the internet effect.
- Coupled with a profound change in how people shop in the modern world.


The problem with 'premiums' as Mr Levy chose to term them, is true across the whole of mainstreet. And that IS a real problem. Many of the landlords have simply not realised the huge drop in profitablity of retail stores in Gibraltar due to the combined effect of increased travel, changed shopping behaviour, new competition (with bulk buying capability).

I'm not entirely with you on this one. I'm sure that landlords know what is going on along Main Street, they just want to keep rental values at their current rates until market circumstances force them to revise figures downwards. The market may be starting to contract in exactly such a way.

The rents need to fall, and quite a lot, they could then rise again once you have 'built it'. Gibraltar is generally a nothing in shopping terms today. But it is certainly true (to an extent) that if you build it they will come. And there is potential for us to again make something that people come to.


With regard to the southern end of mainstreet, we need to recognise the very different nature of the street. It should be a calmer end, it only really has a single side, and no shop or business will choose to go there for passing trade. Personally I'd stop looking at it as a shopping section of high street.


I don't agree with you here. The southern end has historically been a busy part of Main Street with passing trade from the south district, school/college and dock yard area. That business has not been as good in recent times has I suspect a lot to do with the roadworks which seem to have gone on an eternity. I also note that there are no longer parking spaces in the stretch from Southport Gates to the northernmost corner of John Mackintosh Hall which will no doubt have affected businesses along that section. The area has become less interesting following the closure of the restaurant that used to occupy the Ince's Hall ground level and also the night club that is long since closed.

Antioch has a point in that there are only so many shops selling the same thing that Main Street can support. There has also been a conscious effort to concentrate Gib's social life around the Casemates / Kings Bastion area which clearly has not helped.

Hopefully business in the area will flourish a bit more once the seemingly never-ending roadworks are fully completed. Perhaps fewer street benches will also encourage more people to walk up and down this particular stretch of Main Street!
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monty



Joined: 06 Jul 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 4:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Main Street Downturn Reply with quote

antioch wrote:
I note that the mall by the frontier which the late mayor boasted
would 'put main street out of business' is a total flop and will probably
start falling down before its finished.


I hope it is pulled down, the design and placing is attrocious. And the design of the units themselves can best be described as 'wacky'.

The construction should have been limited to the opposite side of the road, not on the road.
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antioch



Joined: 07 Mar 2009
Posts: 628


PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 3:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Main Street Downturn Reply with quote

Trouble is, Main Street has too much of the same sort of shops

Property has always been at a premium one way or another but
one wonders how many jewellers, camera shops and booze can
the traffic support?

particularly as the huge stores recently opened in Spain are
competitive on small electrical and electronic items.

I note that the mall by the frontier which the late mayor boasted
would 'put main street out of business' is a total flop and will probably
start falling down before its finished.

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Gibraltarian



Joined: 12 Mar 2009
Posts: 586


PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps "Premiums" should be made illegal in the same way that "Key money" was made illegal for residential properties.
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monty



Joined: 06 Jul 2009
Posts: 257
Location: Gibraltar

PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally I think this is to be expected given the nature and circumstances of things generally. I don't think this has anything to do with the global economic downturn in particular.

While we don't really have the 'out-of-town' shopping centres effect that big countries have, we do have the internet effect.
- Coupled with a profound change in how people shop in the modern world.


The problem with 'premiums' as Mr Levy chose to term them, is true across the whole of mainstreet. And that IS a real problem. Many of the landlords have simply not realised the huge drop in profitablity of retail stores in Gibraltar due to the combined effect of increased travel, changed shopping behaviour, new competition (with bulk buying capability).

The rents need to fall, and quite a lot, they could then rise again once you have 'built it'. Gibraltar is generally a nothing in shopping terms today. But it is certainly true (to an extent) that if you build it they will come. And there is potential for us to again make something that people come to.


With regard to the southern end of mainstreet, we need to recognise the very different nature of the street. It should be a calmer end, it only really has a single side, and no shop or business will choose to go there for passing trade. Personally I'd stop looking at it as a shopping section of high street.
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Paco



Joined: 20 Aug 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 10:12 pm    Post subject: Main Street Downturn Reply with quote

There was an interesting news item on GBC tonight which covered how there are now seven empty shop premises along Main Street, most of them towards its southernmost end. It seems that high premiums are putting people off renting the premises... However, no mention was made of the amount of time it has taken to refurbish the southern end of Main Street. I imagine that the disruption has also taken its toll on businesses in the area?
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