Halt the decline

PUBLISHED: 10:12 31 December 2008 | UPDATED: 13:48 06 May 2010

SIR, — Retailers are, like many other businesses, having a difficult time in the present economic climate, and while this is the case in the whole of St Albans I should like to make some comments in regard to St Peter s Street in particular. This is the p

SIR, - Retailers are, like many other businesses, having a difficult time in the present economic climate, and while this is the case in the whole of St Albans I should like to make some comments in regard to St Peter's Street in particular.

This is the prime retail area in the city and with the imminent closure of Woolworths it is beginning to gather an increasing number of empty shops. It is possible that others may follow in the foreseeable future.

There is nothing more depressing in the perception of the well-being of a town than a series of empty shops, particularly in its centre. As the number of empty shops increases, the size of the shopping public that is required to sustain the city centre as a viable area will decrease and those customers will drift elsewhere. This in turn will have an adverse affect on the long-standing Saturday and Wednesday markets.

But of course many of the customers themselves are also having a difficult time so there is severe pressure on the commercial well-being of the city.

There are many vested interests to include, of course, but is it not time now that a strategy should be explored by a responsible body to improve the shopping environment in the city centre generally?

MR JOHN LINDGREN,

Battlefield Road, St Albans.

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