No longer ‘meet at back of Rack­hams’

Birmingham Post - - NEWS -

open­ing on Col­more Row.

At nearly half a mil­lion square feet of space, it has – un­til now – with­stood the launch of John Lewis, Deben­hams, Har­vey Nichols and Sel­fridges in the city.

So what will hap­pen to this side of town when it closes next year?

Martineau Place, a shop­ping pa­rade op­po­site, used to be a hub of fash­ion shops and places to eat out, hous­ing a large GAP, H&M, Claire’s Ac­ces­sories and Pizza Hut.

To­day, it feels like an empty shell, with mainly cheap shops like Pound­land, CEX, De­ich­mann and Bon­marche. And what will hap­pen to the huge build­ing that houses the store that so many Brum­mies came to see as a land­mark?

Ear­lier this year the ‘Bru­ti­ful Birm­ing­ham’ cam­paign group cited the build­ing as a 20th cen­tury clas­sic in one of its reg­u­lar Post col­umns.

Af­ter clo­sure maybe it it could make an at­trac­tive of­fice block – though Col­more Row is al­ready packed with those.

With such a vast space to fill, it is un­likely an­other ma­jor store will be tak­ing this on in the cur­rent cli­mate, which has left many ma­jor re­tail­ers strug­gling.

In New Street, the huge BHS store was re­placed by H&M and the Pav­il­ions shop­ping cen­tre in High Street is be­ing taken over as the world’s largest Pri­mark so nei­ther of these are likely to make a move to this end of town.

There is only so much retail to go around so the fu­ture of shop­ping in this part of the city doesn’t look bright.

And say­ing “meet me at the back of Rack­hams” will never have the same mean­ing again.

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