Window on to retail heaven
Much has been written in recent days about Blackpool’s town centre shops, and the hardship many are facing this winter because of the regeneration work being carried out.
Away from the obvious problems facing retail in general at the moment, another point of view.
We all remember trips into town as kids when we looked forward to seeing some amazing window displays. Christmas, of course, was the highlight with Lewis’s and RHO Hills competing for the best display to give us ideas to buy.
On a smaller scale, it was happening at my dad’s newsagents shop on Albert Road. We occupied an anonymous site at the corner of Albert Road and South King Street. Well it would have been anonymous if it wasn’t for the big glass canopy so many corner shops enjoyed. This was the real shop window for those passers-by who couldn’t see the door on the corner.
The canopy sprang to life every day of the summer with hanging beach balls, buckets and spades etc, and the forecourt was occupied with a massive stand selling Blackpool Rock.
People at the other end of the street could see there was life at the corner shop and moreover... ideas of things to buy, whether they’d already thought of them or not.
Some shops have some amazing window displays and they entice you in to look around. However, it’s fair to say many don’t, and customers are left wondering what people are selling, and what the shop even looks like inside.
It’s never acceptable to cover windows with vinyl when there’s exciting activity to look in on from the street. Those with massive windows at their disposal should be putting exciting ideas in full view of the world, to give people the ideas to coax them in off the street to look around. We desperately need a return of relaxed browsing and window shopping.
We face another Christmas of online trading by those who are quite happy to ‘click and collect’ - that’s fair enough, and what many people are quite happy with if they know what they’re wanting to buy.
For those of us who love wandering aimlessly through shopping centres, wallets and purses in hand, begging for ideas from street level... please... give us a chance.