January 16, 2013 by Whispering Smith
Published in the Littlehampton Gazette December 27th. 2013
I have done my best in the past to be optimistic about the rebirth of the town centre and am delighted with the input of cash and the enthusiasm for the four year project but the high streets as we once knew them are things of the distant past. It’s not that the goods are better in the giant stores or that the veg from the arcade greengrocer is in any way inferior to that offered by say Waitrose or the other big stores it just that awful word ‘convenient’. You visit one of the big guys and you can buy everything you need in one hit from a carrot to a colour television! I always try to buy as local as I can but when enjoying my free parking in Sainsbury’s or my free cuppa in Waitrose it is so ‘convenient’ to do the rest of one’s shopping there as well. I don’t know if the average consumer will ever be persuaded to go back to trudging from store to store, lugging shopping bags around town on a wet afternoon. Perhaps the answer is for the new man to study on what isn’t available at the big stores, bring down the business rates and encourage smaller more upmarket enterprises, the sort often found in other small county towns.