My first reaction after reading in the Gazette of the closure of the Booths store on Highfield Road was one of ‘Oh no, not again!’
I originally shopped, more conveniently, when there was a Booths on Lytham Road.
I was shocked when that place closed and now Booths have done it again.
I have just got used to getting a bus service to the Marton store’s door and, as I don’t know if there’s a direct bus route to the latest branch in St Annes, it looks as if , this time, I will be ceasing to trade with them.
Final point – with a Sainsbury’s and Marks and Spencer already in St Annes, Booths may be ready to close another store when they can’t take the competition there!
The announcement that Booths is to close its Highfield Road branch in Marton, Blackpool, has left people of the surrounding area bereft and in shock.
Many including myself are daily customers there, the nearest food outlet being three-quarters of a mile away.
The Booths family have long nurtured a relationship with the people of Blackpool, going back more than 70 years.
I can remember as a small child being taken to the Lytham Road branch, now also sadly gone, and mother being served with butter. This was prepared with butter pates and then carefully wrapped and presented to mother with a big smile .
The Highfield Road store is not just the perfect size, one can purchase everything there and yet not be exhausted by the ordeal of walking miles along aisles.
The customers enjoy meeting old friends and catching up with the local news and the cafe is always full. I am certain that if you decide to sever your links with Blackpool, 90 per cent of your customers there will not travel to St Annes as many will not have transport and the bus service is not regular and would involve a couple of changes with heavy bags to carry.
To lose this store will be a big blow as when, a few years ago, we lost the local parish church on Marton Moss, also a great community centre.
Tough sentences call
The time has come to wage war on these animals that supply or deal in illegal drugs to our young people, in fact supplying drugs to anyone.
We need a change in the law to deter this dirty business.
May I suggest that any one supplying drugs and is convicted, and I mean anyone, should get a mandatory life sentence.
This will save our country a fortune because eventually these people will be let out on licence for the rest of their miserable lives so if they are caught again supplying drugs, they are taken straight back to jail for a further term in prison and we will not spend a fortune on lengthy court cases.
Of course, nobody forces our young people to take these lethal concoctions, so we as responsible adults must do more to educate them to the dangers of uncontrolled substances.
Car parking is key
Blackpool town centre employment relies on a large amount of low paid retail jobs.
Not only would affordable parking benefit the retail workers it would increase the footfall and range of shoppers.
In an age of out of town retail parks and an increase of online shopping, town centre retailers need all the support they can get.
Councils can play a crucial role in improving the town centre economy. Town centres have changed a great deal over the past 20 years and this needs to be recognised.
Unfortunately, Blackpool has suffered a higher than average number of shop closures and failed businesses. It is not often you hear of retirement closures anymore.
It’s more a case of insolvency or voluntary closures due to poor footfall and unmanageable overheads.
When a retail unit closes this weakens the image of the area and inevitably creates a downward spiral of decline.
With an ageing population who have cars, Blackpool should be attracting greater numbers of the retired demographic and also encourage blue badge holders.
Whoever wins the forthcoming local elections has a golden opportunity to improve town centre footfall by offering affordable parking at the Talbot Road Multi Storey.
This drastically under-used car park has the potential to become a high turnover low cost year round profit-making site. This successful metropolitan way of thinking regards to reviving ‘The High Street’ can be found in many towns and cities throughout the country. In retail it’s the till that tells the tale.
FILMING IN MAY
Resort is a star
What a coup for Blackpool having Tim Burton film part of his new movie here!
It just goes to show all those people who just want to talk the town down are wrong. It really is a star in its own right.