We are so close to this amazing new site almost being ready for people to visit. How exciting! Or is it?
Everyone is talking about the project in a positive way, yet when it comes to the High Street Shops, all I am hearing is negativity – and this may surprise you, this is not from the shop owners – but from customers!!
‘The High Street will be dead when Rushden Lakes opens?!” ‘No one will come into town when the Lakes open’ are just a couple of comments I have heard in recent weeks. Really? Well in that case we may as well all give up now, I have kids to feed so if it’s going to kill my business I might as well make a run for the hills now then?
NO NO NO! Is my response to that – business owners well all the ones I have spoken to anyway, are positive about the Lake Project. What an amazing opportunity for us to share our passion with shoppers visiting from further afield.
As it stands at the moment, footfall onto the High Street is at an all time low, shops are struggling and some unfortunately are closing, this is devastating and as a business owner it really is concerning. I really do think that Rushden Lakes will draw people to Rushden and I also firmly believe that Rushden High Street has a lot to offer.
Rushden has some major plus points for shoppers that, I really think will draw them in –
A lovely high-street with FREE PARKING! Where do you get anything for free nowadays?
An array of wonderful shops with lovely products that you just won’t find on the lakes. Some of the best independent shops that have been in the town for generations, Jewelers, Butchers and a wonderful toy shop too just to name a few.
Independent coffee shops, we have a few, and they are all wonderful. We use Café Noir regularly in the shop as it is the closest to us, the ladies in there even deliver our sandwiches to us in the shop so we don’t have to leave the business. You simply don’t get the customer service like that in the larger retailers!
From what I see, we have local businesses reinventing themselves to grow with a changing market, a butchers who now has a beautiful fruit and veg shop next door as well as an array of locally produced Gin and Vodka – an amazing addition to the High street – you can’t buy them in the supermarket! We have developed this brand new website, to allow us to reach a wider audience. The way people shop is changing, but I don’t see this as a bad thing. Yes people do a lot more online, of course they do. But increasingly I believe people are looking for something different, the quirky gifts you can’t get in a larger store.
Imagine if just 10% of the visitors to Rushden Lakes came into the High Street and all spent £10 in local shops that would be a massive boost to the local economy.
Let’s be positive about the our High Street, especially to local business owners who rely on the income from these shops for a living – let’s all embrace the opportunity it brings and share the excitement of what is to come from it all. It really is an amazing opportunity for our town as a whole.
Image credit – Northants Telegraph