Cheshire Life: November 2018
The High Street has taken a battering in recent years, with some of the most famous shops being lost for ever. None, it seems, is immune to the threats posed by our changing shopping habits, and one of the latest to be in spotlight has been House of Fraser.
Now owned by the Sports Direct group, some of the department store’s shops will be closed and directors and senior management have been fired.
But at least it’s still there – it could have been added to the list of lost stores which includes businesses once ubiquitous on our high streets and apparently too big to fail: C& A, BHS, Woolworths, Toysrus, Dixons… it’s a long list.
And they are more than just names, behind every business on your local high street, and on every high street across the country, there are people, families and livelihoods – from small independent businesses, to huge chains.
And for many of us these stores are bound up in memories – childhood shopping trips with mothers on Saturday mornings, the first record we bought at Woolworths, that state-of-the-art tech from Dixon’s that’s now only found in museums.
Today, Armand Beasley is an internationally renowned make-up artist with a galaxy of star name clients. But not long ago he was working on the cosmetics counter at Kendal’s in Manchester, which has been owned for almost 60 years by House of Fraser.
On page 112 of this issue Armand makes an impassioned rallying call on behalf of his former employer, a store which is clearly still very close to his heart. He fondly recalls his time on the cosmetics counter and has some suggestions for new owner Mike Ashley which he hopes will help revive the store’s fortunes.
And if Armand’s words are all the excuse you need to hit the shops, we’ve plenty of inspiration in this issue. There are stacks of ideas for your home, some great suggestions to help you make a head start on your Christmas shopping, and a bumper fashion section packed with glamorous looks, glitzy jewellery and dazzling party wear.
“Behind every business on your local high street, and on every high street across the country, there are people, families and livelihoods”