Wednesday, March 28, 2012
The debate surrounding the Honiton High Street trading conditions and the Mary Portas saga is admirably highlighted by the excellent article by Terry Darrant in your paper this week (March 21)
I tried to highlight a similar denigration of the High Street over the last 20+ years in my short email you published recently, which one of your readers took exception to.
He admitted to living in the Honiton area for only five years, whereas the downturn in Honiton High Street has been ongoing for decades.
In response to his question as to how frequent I visit the town, I can say that it has been anything from three to six times a week for two decades.
So I speak from the position of some experience. I have had business and personal banking in the town for that entire time. Traded with businesses as well as retailers on a regular basis, preferring to subscribe to independent retailers rather than national multiples.
Having been in marketing for my entire career, specialising in retailing, I DO have some experience of trading conditions in a huge variety of towns and cities. So also have considerable experience, probably much more than your reader’s five years in Honiton.
However, the point remains, the Chamber of Commerce and the town council needs to open its eyes, remove the blinkers to what is happening to the town. Any more out-of-town retail growth will sound the death knell of Honiton in the future.