Shopkeeper's fears for Weaver Square

Shopkeeper's fears for Weaver Square

Shopkeeper's fears for Weaver Square

First published in News Northwich Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

A DISAPPOINTED shopkeeper said he feels Weaver Square Shopping Centre has been abandoned by those in power.

Dave Hodkinson, who runs The Kitchen Garden in the square, blasted centre owners, landlords, management company, fellow shop owners and the town council in an attempt to prompt some action.

Speaking at the April Northwich Town Council meeting he said: “Since I took the shop in town square it is apparent that Weaver Square, once the centrepiece of Northwich, has been abandoned by its current owners, Nationwide Building Society, Cheshire West and Chester Council, the current landlords, Colliers International, the alleged management company, Quality Save, once a thriving business in the square that now locks its doors on Weaver Square, and Northwich Town Council, another guilty of the abandonment of the town square.”

He argued that not only was the fabric of the centre itself being neglected but it was also being ignored during events like the artisan market, which take place in Witton Street.

“I’m by no means an expert but the alarming lack of general maintenance in the square is shocking,” he said.

“There is clearly a very bad problem that has been ignored for some years and I would invite all the above to walk around with me with the points I have seen – it is shocking.”

He added: “Also of huge concern is the exclusion of the Weaver Square Shopping Centre by Northwich Town Council – ignored at Christmas by the town events and again by the artisan market.”

Chris Shaw, town council clerk, said the council’s hands were tied when it came to Weaver Square Shopping Centre because it is privately owned.

“As a town council we don’t have any say in what goes on in Weaver Square,” he said.

“You should be approaching Colliers and if you want help doing that, that’s something the town council can do.”

He added: “In terms of the artisan market, that’s an independent company and we can’t instruct them to go into Weaver Square or go anywhere.”

Town mayor Clr Bob Robinson pointed out that Quality Save had locked its doors to the square because of its security.

Comments (18)

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3:57pm Mon 14 Apr 14

onered says...

I don't think Quality Store have ever had the two sets of rear doors open, they don't fit in with their Security arrangements which only requires one set of Tills which everyone has to pass through.

It is with regret I have to say, I don't think you did your Home Work before setting up your Business in Weaver Square?
I don't think Quality Store have ever had the two sets of rear doors open, they don't fit in with their Security arrangements which only requires one set of Tills which everyone has to pass through. It is with regret I have to say, I don't think you did your Home Work before setting up your Business in Weaver Square? onered
  • Score: 10

4:47pm Mon 14 Apr 14

Bazzer49 says...

I agree those doors were only open when it was Woolworths. To be honest I was gobsmacked when this shop opened. I spoke to someone years ago about this area and was told that there were companies that would like to open shops but the premises were too small.
I agree those doors were only open when it was Woolworths. To be honest I was gobsmacked when this shop opened. I spoke to someone years ago about this area and was told that there were companies that would like to open shops but the premises were too small. Bazzer49
  • Score: 6

8:23pm Mon 14 Apr 14

nicksey says...

I feel sorry for Dave as Weaver Square appears to have been abandoned by all concerned.

The problem is the number of empty shops in the square, this means that fewer people feel the need to pass through the square.

The agents/landlords need to urgently look at how they can encourage tenants in. As it stands the landlord has little rental income. They would be better of if they offerred a 12 month low rent option. Lets say they offerred rents of £500 per month for the smaller shops. This would bring them some income and could rejuvenate the square and make it busier, this in itself could encourage more new tenants because it's busier.

They could simply run it like one of those easy in/easy out business centres that offer space on a monthly rolling contract.

The last Artisan Market did at least put some stands on Market Way, but as I was walking along Crown st between Witton st and Market St I heard one lady say, " lets not bother walking up there, there nothing there"
I feel sorry for Dave as Weaver Square appears to have been abandoned by all concerned. The problem is the number of empty shops in the square, this means that fewer people feel the need to pass through the square. The agents/landlords need to urgently look at how they can encourage tenants in. As it stands the landlord has little rental income. They would be better of if they offerred a 12 month low rent option. Lets say they offerred rents of £500 per month for the smaller shops. This would bring them some income and could rejuvenate the square and make it busier, this in itself could encourage more new tenants because it's busier. They could simply run it like one of those easy in/easy out business centres that offer space on a monthly rolling contract. The last Artisan Market did at least put some stands on Market Way, but as I was walking along Crown st between Witton st and Market St I heard one lady say, " lets not bother walking up there, there nothing there" nicksey
  • Score: 7

12:43am Tue 15 Apr 14

keith moss says...

I often walk that way on my way to the supermarket.They offer me all the choice i could ever want.With their 10% super loyalty friendliness charity super saver offers and endless choice ,combined with aggressive product diversification .Traditional shops and retail outlets will become increasingly of the gift shop tat variety forced to sell low quality lines or those deemed unsuited to the supermarket 'image' (like for example **** which simply do not lend themselves to the usual two for one offers,why have a six inch when you can have the new whopper chopper for only a pound more ect ),the only ones who may buck this trend are those who deal in quality eg butchers who's product is of sufficient quality to warrant a special trip .
Hairdressing & beauty perhaps is the next area the large supermarkets may target...how handy Mr gets his haircut whilst Mrs does the shop (the following week they swap and she gets scalped).
Optical services would be my next bet......each existing high street 'sub sector' in turn being swallowed by the huge capitalist beast (an honestlynotamonopoly if i'm not mistaken) And you never get a parking ticket at the SUPER market,and you can buy Petrol at the SUPER market,and they do banking at the SUPER market,and you pay a machine at the SUPER market.
And unless you think about it,you may well never need to visit any of the little shops at all.Ever
Me,like I said I often walk that way on my way to the supermarket.
I often walk that way on my way to the supermarket.They offer me all the choice i could ever want.With their 10% super loyalty friendliness charity super saver offers and endless choice ,combined with aggressive product diversification .Traditional shops and retail outlets will become increasingly of the gift shop tat variety forced to sell low quality lines or those deemed unsuited to the supermarket 'image' (like for example **** which simply do not lend themselves to the usual two for one offers,why have a six inch when you can have the new whopper chopper for only a pound more ect ),the only ones who may buck this trend are those who deal in quality eg butchers who's product is of sufficient quality to warrant a special trip . Hairdressing & beauty perhaps is the next area the large supermarkets may target...how handy Mr gets his haircut whilst Mrs does the shop (the following week they swap and she gets scalped). Optical services would be my next bet......each existing high street 'sub sector' in turn being swallowed by the huge capitalist beast (an honestlynotamonopoly if i'm not mistaken) And you never get a parking ticket at the SUPER market,and you can buy Petrol at the SUPER market,and they do banking at the SUPER market,and you pay a machine at the SUPER market. And unless you think about it,you may well never need to visit any of the little shops at all.Ever Me,like I said I often walk that way on my way to the supermarket. keith moss
  • Score: 0

10:12am Tue 15 Apr 14

Bazzer49 says...

Following the previous comment, have you visited a Tesco extra? They have opticians and hairdressers in them. Beware they are taking over!
Following the previous comment, have you visited a Tesco extra? They have opticians and hairdressers in them. Beware they are taking over! Bazzer49
  • Score: 3

12:47pm Tue 15 Apr 14

MrsH... says...

As a local resident, shopper and also retailer in Northwich, I also dispair at the downhill slide Northwich has seen in recent years and I want Northwich to be the vibrant town it used to be.

However, this 'problem' is not limited to just one area of the town, nor is it the fault of those named above. Unfortunately, all but the Supermarkets are suffering due to the significant loss of shops from the town centre as a whole, meaning the good folk of Northwich are looking to shop elsewhere.

I understand where Dave is coming from regarding the lack of foot fall within Weaver Square and Market Way, as the foot fall throughout town has fallen dramatically.

However, I would like to point out that having been on the 'other side of the street', so to speak, that we too have missed out on events held within Weaver Square/Market Way in the not so distant past - it has only been the last 2 years that the Christmas events have been held on Witton Street and with regard to the Artisan Market, this event brings in a great foot fall - it is down to us shop owners to be more imaginative in how we attract customers to come into our shops on these days - do not dismiss or dispair, but encourage people to come to you.

As a town, we need to be working together - we cannot be shouting about one area being neglected, as we can all say that sometime or another about what has happened in our 'areas' of town. Nor can we blame authorities about not doing anything about it - the Town Council are doing what they can to help, but as Weaver Square/Market Way is privately owned, it is down to them to deal with their area.

We need to bring the shoppers to Northwich for a reason - we have a fabulous range of independant shops, but we need to stand up together to get a better Northwich. Don't fight against the tide Dave, but work with it and you'll hopefully end up with better results in the end.
As a local resident, shopper and also retailer in Northwich, I also dispair at the downhill slide Northwich has seen in recent years and I want Northwich to be the vibrant town it used to be. However, this 'problem' is not limited to just one area of the town, nor is it the fault of those named above. Unfortunately, all but the Supermarkets are suffering due to the significant loss of shops from the town centre as a whole, meaning the good folk of Northwich are looking to shop elsewhere. I understand where Dave is coming from regarding the lack of foot fall within Weaver Square and Market Way, as the foot fall throughout town has fallen dramatically. However, I would like to point out that having been on the 'other side of the street', so to speak, that we too have missed out on events held within Weaver Square/Market Way in the not so distant past - it has only been the last 2 years that the Christmas events have been held on Witton Street and with regard to the Artisan Market, this event brings in a great foot fall - it is down to us shop owners to be more imaginative in how we attract customers to come into our shops on these days - do not dismiss or dispair, but encourage people to come to you. As a town, we need to be working together - we cannot be shouting about one area being neglected, as we can all say that sometime or another about what has happened in our 'areas' of town. Nor can we blame authorities about not doing anything about it - the Town Council are doing what they can to help, but as Weaver Square/Market Way is privately owned, it is down to them to deal with their area. We need to bring the shoppers to Northwich for a reason - we have a fabulous range of independant shops, but we need to stand up together to get a better Northwich. Don't fight against the tide Dave, but work with it and you'll hopefully end up with better results in the end. MrsH...
  • Score: 9

3:25pm Tue 15 Apr 14

Cymo says...

That's what happens when greedy businesses in London are allowed to buy up our shopping centres. It will be more lucrative for them to have empty shops (tax fiddle) than thriving businesses. They don't care - they don't live here. The council should compulsoraly purchase it for a nominal amount on the grounds of incompetence.
Good luck Dave - it was a brave decision to open up there, I hope things work out for you
That's what happens when greedy businesses in London are allowed to buy up our shopping centres. It will be more lucrative for them to have empty shops (tax fiddle) than thriving businesses. They don't care - they don't live here. The council should compulsoraly purchase it for a nominal amount on the grounds of incompetence. Good luck Dave - it was a brave decision to open up there, I hope things work out for you Cymo
  • Score: 2

3:51pm Tue 15 Apr 14

nicksey says...

MrsH, I completely agree, we need to stand together (I also am a retailer in the town centre), but the problem is how do we stand together.

We have an great selection of independent retailers and free parking, if everyone (retailers/council/s
hoppers) want to save and improve northwich town centre then we need to find a way to get more people visiting Northwich.

The artisan market is great but does not seem to provide much in the way of additional business for existing retailers. In fact i feel sorry the shops that sell food because they must sell less rather than more on when the artisan market is on.
MrsH, I completely agree, we need to stand together (I also am a retailer in the town centre), but the problem is how do we stand together. We have an great selection of independent retailers and free parking, if everyone (retailers/council/s hoppers) want to save and improve northwich town centre then we need to find a way to get more people visiting Northwich. The artisan market is great but does not seem to provide much in the way of additional business for existing retailers. In fact i feel sorry the shops that sell food because they must sell less rather than more on when the artisan market is on. nicksey
  • Score: 6

7:51pm Tue 15 Apr 14

onered says...

The Supermarkets and also taking a knock in these troubled times, Sainsburys has been dead for the last 7 weeks I have visited, I also understand Tesco and Iceland are also seeing a drop in the number of Customers.

We had a fantastic Italian Restaurant in Town, Giulios, Giulio approached his Landlord for help and a rent reduction, the Landlord upped the rent and force Giulio in to Bankruptcy.

My best wishes Dave, I hope you are able to turn things around very soon.
The Supermarkets and also taking a knock in these troubled times, Sainsburys has been dead for the last 7 weeks I have visited, I also understand Tesco and Iceland are also seeing a drop in the number of Customers. We had a fantastic Italian Restaurant in Town, Giulios, Giulio approached his Landlord for help and a rent reduction, the Landlord upped the rent and force Giulio in to Bankruptcy. My best wishes Dave, I hope you are able to turn things around very soon. onered
  • Score: 7

10:24pm Tue 15 Apr 14

47thmoon says...

money, money, money - tax fiddle dis and tax fiddle dat - de politicians tat!!
money, money, money - tax fiddle dis and tax fiddle dat - de politicians tat!! 47thmoon
  • Score: 0

11:37pm Tue 15 Apr 14

L Byrne says...

The people who have the most responsibility for the state of Northwich Town Centre, Weaver Square and elsewhere, are the jokers in charge at CWAC Council. They have the authority and the resources, ie our taxes, to do something about it but have chosen to allow the situation to deteriorate.

MrsH and Nicksey are right, the town needs to attract a lot more visitors who will use make use of the small independent retailers and other businesses. We had that opportunity a while ago when decisions were being made about what to do with Barons Quay. Very creative ideas were put forward to turn the site alongside the Weaver into an attractive tourist attraction and recreation and play area which would bring people into the town who would then use the small shops and refreshment facilities preserving current jobs and creating new ones. At the same time we would have a town centre that we could be truly proud of.

Instead, the spoofers on the council decided that what Northwich really needed was yet another supermarket , ASDA this time, to add to the six that we already have which will mean that we will have more supermarkets per head of population than any other town of similar size in the UK. However, this one will be right in the centre.

It does not take a genius to see what the consequences of this asinine decision will have for the remaining independent retailers when ASDA inevitably gets stuck in to obliterating local competition. That means the butchers, the green grocers, the chemists, the opticians and, perhaps as Keith Moss suggests, the hairdressers.

You can bet your bottom dollar it would not happen in Chester but, apparently, its OK for Northwich.

In the meantime, good luck to Mr Hodkinson in his endeavours.
The people who have the most responsibility for the state of Northwich Town Centre, Weaver Square and elsewhere, are the jokers in charge at CWAC Council. They have the authority and the resources, ie our taxes, to do something about it but have chosen to allow the situation to deteriorate. MrsH and Nicksey are right, the town needs to attract a lot more visitors who will use make use of the small independent retailers and other businesses. We had that opportunity a while ago when decisions were being made about what to do with Barons Quay. Very creative ideas were put forward to turn the site alongside the Weaver into an attractive tourist attraction and recreation and play area which would bring people into the town who would then use the small shops and refreshment facilities preserving current jobs and creating new ones. At the same time we would have a town centre that we could be truly proud of. Instead, the spoofers on the council decided that what Northwich really needed was yet another supermarket , ASDA this time, to add to the six that we already have which will mean that we will have more supermarkets per head of population than any other town of similar size in the UK. However, this one will be right in the centre. It does not take a genius to see what the consequences of this asinine decision will have for the remaining independent retailers when ASDA inevitably gets stuck in to obliterating local competition. That means the butchers, the green grocers, the chemists, the opticians and, perhaps as Keith Moss suggests, the hairdressers. You can bet your bottom dollar it would not happen in Chester but, apparently, its OK for Northwich. In the meantime, good luck to Mr Hodkinson in his endeavours. L Byrne
  • Score: 1

1:25am Wed 16 Apr 14

keith moss says...

Much of the land heralded for redevelopment around the Barons Quay area was it seems purchased for as CYMO suggests large financial interests based outside the area.Its systematic neglect then prompts a large commercial development eg asda world, with a huge pricetag of eleventy million pounds....the bulk of which will go to...yep ! to the Fat Cat fund....apparently it's a very old trick called PLUTOCRACY.
I await the politician and his sincerest smile photographed whilst congratulating school leavers on getting a minimum wage jobs stacking and rotating under the sodium glow of shop lights..whilst declaring it a victory for Conservative policies and a sign of recovery and joyous celebration for joyous families.I personaly think we should all vote for him...not
I would have suggested open natural areas which lend themselves to strolls,seated areas suitable for large artistic.musical and cultural events both sides of the river on a scale similar to Chester jetties for boats to attract people who have fun and spend money locally(most canal boat people grow herbs on the roof of their boats!!)(it seems we have opted to site another capitalist temple,similar to the very Mayan looking WEIGHT rose building sited like a 'wart on a Witches face' adjacent this time it's in ASDAVISION it will leave a strip to walk along because if they build too close to the water they can't get insurance....inciden
tally I wish Mr Hodkinson every success in his venture and hope it brings him all he wishes for...In the meantime a cinema would be great in say Lostock or Winnington,similarly an ASDA yeah fine in a c**p part of town (there is plenty of choice in old factories and places that have closed away from the area with so much potential to enliven the town in the centre).


Big shops eat small shops..they strangle them with a chain.
Small shops seldom sell all you want but mostly all you need
Small shops will get you what you want if you need it badly enough to wait.
Big shops will get you everything you want without the wait and you will probably get fat and be poorer for it.
Much of the land heralded for redevelopment around the Barons Quay area was it seems purchased for as CYMO suggests large financial interests based outside the area.Its systematic neglect then prompts a large commercial development eg asda world, with a huge pricetag of eleventy million pounds....the bulk of which will go to...yep ! to the Fat Cat fund....apparently it's a very old trick called PLUTOCRACY. I await the politician and his sincerest smile photographed whilst congratulating school leavers on getting a minimum wage jobs stacking and rotating under the sodium glow of shop lights..whilst declaring it a victory for Conservative policies and a sign of recovery and joyous celebration for joyous families.I personaly think we should all vote for him...not I would have suggested open natural areas which lend themselves to strolls,seated areas suitable for large artistic.musical and cultural events both sides of the river on a scale similar to Chester jetties for boats to attract people who have fun and spend money locally(most canal boat people grow herbs on the roof of their boats!!)(it seems we have opted to site another capitalist temple,similar to the very Mayan looking WEIGHT rose building sited like a 'wart on a Witches face' adjacent this time it's in ASDAVISION it will leave a strip to walk along because if they build too close to the water they can't get insurance....inciden tally I wish Mr Hodkinson every success in his venture and hope it brings him all he wishes for...In the meantime a cinema would be great in say Lostock or Winnington,similarly an ASDA yeah fine in a c**p part of town (there is plenty of choice in old factories and places that have closed away from the area with so much potential to enliven the town in the centre). Big shops eat small shops..they strangle them with a chain. Small shops seldom sell all you want but mostly all you need Small shops will get you what you want if you need it badly enough to wait. Big shops will get you everything you want without the wait and you will probably get fat and be poorer for it. keith moss
  • Score: 2

5:48pm Wed 16 Apr 14

Daniel18 says...

Keith,
Building an out of town ASDA will not improve the situation as it will take even more people away from the town centre.

L Bryne
Weaver Square has nothing to do with CWaC - it is private shopping centre. As for it not happening in Chester - it already has! The Forum is full of empty units - there's also a Tesco supermarket in the city centre AND there is no Cinema in the city, following its demolition to make way for ASDA. Stop trying to make out that Northwich is a second class town.

Onered and Bazzer49 are right - Quality Save has never had doors onto weaver Square & the units in the centre are too small for most retailers.
The Baron's Quay development will improve our town by helping to bring people back into the town centre to shop and socialise - We all need to stand together to help our town.
Keith, Building an out of town ASDA will not improve the situation as it will take even more people away from the town centre. L Bryne Weaver Square has nothing to do with CWaC - it is private shopping centre. As for it not happening in Chester - it already has! The Forum is full of empty units - there's also a Tesco supermarket in the city centre AND there is no Cinema in the city, following its demolition to make way for ASDA. Stop trying to make out that Northwich is a second class town. Onered and Bazzer49 are right - Quality Save has never had doors onto weaver Square & the units in the centre are too small for most retailers. The Baron's Quay development will improve our town by helping to bring people back into the town centre to shop and socialise - We all need to stand together to help our town. Daniel18
  • Score: 6

7:36am Thu 17 Apr 14

nicksey says...

Daniel18
I have to disagree. The Barons Quay development will just shift the town centre to Barons quay, what is currently the town centre will probably suffer even more when ASDA move in and open their doors. ASDA belong out of town, not in the town centre as they suck all the business away from independent retailers. ASDA sell everything from food and drink to tv's and fridges, beds and bedding, garden plants and tools, magazines, books and newspapers. Once they open and suck up all that business the smaller independents stand every chance of going out of business and more shop doors closing. It was a bad decision to allow yet another huge supermarket to come to Northwich. We will soon only have ASDA to shop in, those people who currently work in town centre shops will have nowhere to work other than ASDA, they will have nowhere to spend their money other than ASDA, How do you suggest that we stand together to help our town when it faces this huge and very real threat?
Daniel18 I have to disagree. The Barons Quay development will just shift the town centre to Barons quay, what is currently the town centre will probably suffer even more when ASDA move in and open their doors. ASDA belong out of town, not in the town centre as they suck all the business away from independent retailers. ASDA sell everything from food and drink to tv's and fridges, beds and bedding, garden plants and tools, magazines, books and newspapers. Once they open and suck up all that business the smaller independents stand every chance of going out of business and more shop doors closing. It was a bad decision to allow yet another huge supermarket to come to Northwich. We will soon only have ASDA to shop in, those people who currently work in town centre shops will have nowhere to work other than ASDA, they will have nowhere to spend their money other than ASDA, How do you suggest that we stand together to help our town when it faces this huge and very real threat? nicksey
  • Score: 1

5:28pm Thu 17 Apr 14

Daniel18 says...

If ASDA is as bad as you are making out then it won't make a difference where it is!

There are town's up an down the country that have supermarkets in their town centes (Including Sainsburys in Northwich Town centre!) - they haven't died, - so what's so different about Northwich?

Having ASDA, along with all the other shops that are being built, will simply give shoppers more choice. Rather than go to the out of town stores, such as Tesco, Aldi,Co-op & Lidl, people may actually go to the town centre to do their weekly shop - which increases the likelihood that they will visit other stores in the town.

Sainsbury's has been in the town centre fro year's and the town hasn't died? they sell everything from food and drink to tv's and fridges, beds and bedding, garden plants and tools, magazines, books and newspapers - so what is so different about ASDA?
If ASDA is as bad as you are making out then it won't make a difference where it is! There are town's up an down the country that have supermarkets in their town centes (Including Sainsburys in Northwich Town centre!) - they haven't died, - so what's so different about Northwich? Having ASDA, along with all the other shops that are being built, will simply give shoppers more choice. Rather than go to the out of town stores, such as Tesco, Aldi,Co-op & Lidl, people may actually go to the town centre to do their weekly shop - which increases the likelihood that they will visit other stores in the town. Sainsbury's has been in the town centre fro year's and the town hasn't died? they sell everything from food and drink to tv's and fridges, beds and bedding, garden plants and tools, magazines, books and newspapers - so what is so different about ASDA? Daniel18
  • Score: 2

8:44pm Thu 17 Apr 14

L Byrne says...

Daniel18

The difference between ASDA and the other stores you mention is that it will be bang in the centre of the town and very close to the shops in Witton Street and the surrounding area. The typical shopping pattern of an ASDA customer will be to arrive into the car park which, apparently, will be on the roof of the store, fill up a trolley with purchases from within the wide selection of departments, return to their car and depart for home. They might have a coffee from the store restaurant before they leave. That is how the ASDA operates. If customers regularly leave to purchase, say, meat or vegetables nearby that will be picked up by the store management and action taken to deal with the competition.

The real scandal is that the threat to the very existence of local small retailers is totally down to the incompetents in CWAC Council who have set themselves up as retail property developers. The original thinking was to attract a high end prestigious retailer such as Debenhams as an anchor tenant to the Barons Quay site. That might have worked because Debenhams does not compete directly with any of the shops in Northwich , except probably Bratt's, and actually would have attracted potential customers for them. However, the Council failed and had to beseech ASDA to come and save their scheme. The existing small shopkeepers would be acceptable collateral damage but there you go.

A real mess that could and should be avoided.

One factor has changed , however, since the deal was done. ASDA are being hammered by three competitors in particular, Lidl, Aldi and Waitrose,
all located within a couple of hundred yards of the site in Northwich. It seems particularly stupid of ASDA bosses to want to build a store so close to all three so maybe there still is hope.
Daniel18 The difference between ASDA and the other stores you mention is that it will be bang in the centre of the town and very close to the shops in Witton Street and the surrounding area. The typical shopping pattern of an ASDA customer will be to arrive into the car park which, apparently, will be on the roof of the store, fill up a trolley with purchases from within the wide selection of departments, return to their car and depart for home. They might have a coffee from the store restaurant before they leave. That is how the ASDA operates. If customers regularly leave to purchase, say, meat or vegetables nearby that will be picked up by the store management and action taken to deal with the competition. The real scandal is that the threat to the very existence of local small retailers is totally down to the incompetents in CWAC Council who have set themselves up as retail property developers. The original thinking was to attract a high end prestigious retailer such as Debenhams as an anchor tenant to the Barons Quay site. That might have worked because Debenhams does not compete directly with any of the shops in Northwich , except probably Bratt's, and actually would have attracted potential customers for them. However, the Council failed and had to beseech ASDA to come and save their scheme. The existing small shopkeepers would be acceptable collateral damage but there you go. A real mess that could and should be avoided. One factor has changed , however, since the deal was done. ASDA are being hammered by three competitors in particular, Lidl, Aldi and Waitrose, all located within a couple of hundred yards of the site in Northwich. It seems particularly stupid of ASDA bosses to want to build a store so close to all three so maybe there still is hope. L Byrne
  • Score: 1

8:46pm Thu 17 Apr 14

Annie44 says...

It's very depressing to walk through the abandoned Town Square.The new garden shop is a very brave venture,and deserves to be supported.They have lovely plants and items at very reasonable prices.
Do not underestimate the effect that the closure of the 'back door' access to Weaver Square has had.It has made an enormous difference to the footfall.They could narrow the entrance,and have a couple of checkouts there as always happened in Woolworths' time.I often 'cut through' and spotted something I wanted to buy en route,so it would actually improve their trade.The Town Square doors should certainly be trialled at least. to see what happens.
My idea for the precinct would be to make it into a large covered market with the shop units opening into it and all the stalls ,down the middle of the pedestrian way and round the central square.if the walkway to the town centre was also covered,it would be attractive for shoppers by enabling them to walk into the market whatever the weather.The existing market could be parking for traders' vehicles, and deliveries.CWAC should purchase this white elephant and make it a market to rival any in the northwest.And NOT raise the rents to unaffordable levels either.
It's very depressing to walk through the abandoned Town Square.The new garden shop is a very brave venture,and deserves to be supported.They have lovely plants and items at very reasonable prices. Do not underestimate the effect that the closure of the 'back door' access to Weaver Square has had.It has made an enormous difference to the footfall.They could narrow the entrance,and have a couple of checkouts there as always happened in Woolworths' time.I often 'cut through' and spotted something I wanted to buy en route,so it would actually improve their trade.The Town Square doors should certainly be trialled at least. to see what happens. My idea for the precinct would be to make it into a large covered market with the shop units opening into it and all the stalls ,down the middle of the pedestrian way and round the central square.if the walkway to the town centre was also covered,it would be attractive for shoppers by enabling them to walk into the market whatever the weather.The existing market could be parking for traders' vehicles, and deliveries.CWAC should purchase this white elephant and make it a market to rival any in the northwest.And NOT raise the rents to unaffordable levels either. Annie44
  • Score: 3

11:24pm Thu 17 Apr 14

L Byrne says...

Annie44

Your idea for the precinct is excellent. CWAC has tried to justify its failure to save Weaver Square by spreading the lie that it cannot do anything because it is private property. Total misleading cobblers. The truth is, as you imply, that it could have purchased it and then invested in it for the benefit of the town. But don't expect any councillor to admit it.
Annie44 Your idea for the precinct is excellent. CWAC has tried to justify its failure to save Weaver Square by spreading the lie that it cannot do anything because it is private property. Total misleading cobblers. The truth is, as you imply, that it could have purchased it and then invested in it for the benefit of the town. But don't expect any councillor to admit it. L Byrne
  • Score: 2

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