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has closed down in my local town! Was there last time I looked- now gone! I don't buy from there, except the odd thing, and I never bought from Jane Norman- which seemed to be for size zeros who like lycra-but I am getting concerned about the state of clothing retail.
I think arcadia will in future move many of their stand alone stores in to BHs buildings. AFAIK BHS is not doing too well, and by moving Wallis Dorothy pekins & Evans in to one shop the company would reduce overheads. Tops shop will probably remain as stand alone stores as they are the most profitable part of the business. I think wallis will continue as a brand but BHS may go.
"I'm concerned about all retail. I reckon in the end we'll have a choice of supermarkets, primark or ikea"
I do hope this is not the case.
I am from Australia and my perception of there (bear in mind I've lived here for 13 years) is a bunch of both independent and chain stores mainly knocking out affordable and bargainous stuff that is made in China, and fairly average in quality and design, and then European Designer at ££££ or should I say $$$$ (lots more than if you convert it to pounds here - i.e, my mum paid nearly £100 for a pair of Birkenstocks - not designer I know, and not super chic either but gives you an idea, and I thought she'd been ripped but then realise that was the market price over there for this particular pair of Birkenstocks which to be fair were limited edition...)
The beauty of the UK is this middle "high street" thing. Sure, they are chain stores but there is some really great stuff that is readily available and in the mid price range and NICE (lots of it anyway)...
I don't want to see a massive "divide between rich and poor" extended to clothing as well.
What alarms me is that this is Leamington Spa, which is meant to be one of the most affluent places to live, despite the recession. We don't have a BHS . If these shops can't make a go of it in such a town, well it does worry me!
15-20 years ago, Wallis had a lovely big store in Edinburgh. On Princes Street. OK, it shared a building with Top Shop and Principles but it took a full floor of a huge building. I remember trying hard to save for clothes from there as the quality used to be good. Their trousers in particular!
Roll forward and the store is now half of a shop in a shopping centre with very old fashioned, tired and polyester clothes.
Leeds city centre is still thriving - honestly, standing room only in Vivienne Westwood, queuing out the door for the cafe at Harvey Nicks. Had to wait ages to try something on in House of Fraser. DH and I actually stood on The Headrow and looked at the quantity of people, and said 'Recession?? What recession?' But then, for people who are in jobs, the cost of living isn't so great up here.
We have no Zara or Gap, in a place with an already limited choice of clothes shops, online ranges are never as good as going in for a browse. I now buy less clothes, when I do get a chance to go somewhere with more shops I don't have time to get to all the shops I like.