We have to use independents or we’ll lose them
The glue of our communities still remain, more often that not, our town and city centres; the traditional hub of our shopping and socialising habits. While this has changed so dramatically due to outof-town developments and the explosion of online retailing, if the blend of attractions is right, it remains our collective honeypot.
And so often key to that mix is the independent retailer – the one-of-a-kind which is so much easier to form an emotional attachment to – which makes the difference. Whitstable is defined by it and Canterbury relies on it to enrich its main drag of big-name high street chains.
Yet while chains have a strength in numbers, the one-offs need to maintain income levels to flourish. And Canterbury, for example, is not a place for the faint-hearted. It may deliver enormous footfall but the cost of being able to capitalise on that does mean high rents and rates.
Our streets would be a far less appetising proposition to both those of us who live and work here and who visit if independents were to flounder.
Yet to keep them alive we must use them and use them regularly. Because we’ll miss them once they’re gone.
‘Yet while chains have a strength in numbers, the oneoffs need to maintain income levels to flourish