Herne Bay firms urge shoppers to choose local after big names' collapse
Blockbuster Video called
in the administrators last week
A week after a third major retailer called in the
administrators, town centre managers in Herne Bay believe it will
help give a boost to independent stores.
Just this month, Jessops, HMV and Blockbusters all admitted their
businesses were struggling, with the loss of stores and jobs in the
But development manager for Kent's Federation of Small businesses,
Andrew Aves, said the loss of the major retailers may be the ticket
to independents making a comeback: “We've found from our surveys
that independent stores are quiet optimistic as a whole.
“They do offer that personal service that is often lacking in some
of the chain stores”
The HMV store in St Margarets Street, Canterbury
Chris West, coastal towns manager for Herne Bay and Whitstable,
said: "I think if they're sensible with the units they take up
independents stand a good chance."
Liz Jackson, who owns coffee shop The Pantry on Mortimer Street,
said you have to stand out from the crowd: “We have a bit of a
niche market and we keep out prices competitive.
“If you get it right and you don't demand too much from customers,
you will survive on the high street.”
But it's a different picture for Graham Harmsworth, owner of Music
Bay, who believes the demise of most music stores is due to online
shopping: “We’re putting more money into the business then taking
“People these days are out of the habit of shopping - years ago it
was the traditional shopping on a Saturday, now it’s not so general
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