Shops lead a fight back

INDEPENDENT retailers are leading a battle against the credit crunch – with a flourish of new businesses opening in Scarborough’s town centre.

While high street stores are seeing sales drop local retailers have come out fighting. Despite tough trading conditions brave entrepreneurs are taking to Scarborough’s town centre to launch their new ventures.

In recent weeks more than eight independent retailers have opened or are about to open in Scarborough.

Businesses range from clothes shops to delicatessens.

Chris Golder, manager of Boyes and chairman of Scarborough Chamber of Trade, said: “It is a difficult time on the high street. Certainly in Scarborough the footfall is down and the town centre is battling against out of town retail parks.

“It is brilliant to see new businesses opening in the centre, and taking up empty units.

“Hopefully they will attract more people and other retailers will benefit too.”

New business to open include Lantena’s Boutique in Dean Road, The Little Cheese and Wine Shop in North Street, Kerry’s Lingerie in Victoria Road and Pier 1 Bar in Huntriss Row.

Over coming weeks Scarborough will also see the opening of Miaz Indian restaurant in St Thomas Street, Graham Taylor’s book shop in Bar Street, and Chic Art and the Stepney Hill Farm’s Gourmet Meat Company in Huntriss Row.

Sadie Rees, owner of women’s wear retailer Lantena’s Boutique said: “Independent shops are popular as customers tend to get a more one on one experience, which is lost with internet shopping and in some high street retailers.

“I know times are tough but I read in a book that when things are at a low it is better to get in there and bite the bullet.

“I think that’s very true, especially in Scarborough, and so I opened in Dean Road, hoping to take advantage of the extra trade Tesco will bring when it opens.”

Ashley Tyson, director of Stepney Hill Farm’s Gourmet Meat Company agreed that independent retailers are becoming more popular.

After recently setting up a farm shop and butchers at Stepney Hill farm he and business partner Daniel Fell will be opening a sandwich bar, butchers and cafe/steak bar in Huntriss Row next month.

Mr Tyson said: “People seem to be going back to the old fashioned way of shopping.

“They want the providence of knowing exactly where their products have come from, which is something we can offer.

“We are going back to traditional retail and cutting out the middle man.

“Shopping locally and cutting the carbon footprint is also important to people now, which is something you can get when you use businesses like our that produce their own stock locally to sell locally.”

The news of Scarborough’s independent business boom comes as Arcadia, the owner of Topshop and Burton, reports a 38 per cent fall in full year profits. The group, which also owns Dorothy Perking and Miss Selfridge, all of which have stores in Scarborough, no expects to close up to 260 shops after making profits of £133 million.

It is not yet know if Topshop and Dorothy Perkins, both in the Brunswick Shopping Centre, or Miss Selfridge in Westborough, or Burton in Eastborough, will be affected by the closures planned for coming years.