THE controversial move of Poundland into the former Woolworths site has been deemed a "step backwards" by Scarborough's Chamber of Trade.
The discount chain's plans to move to the town are top of the agenda for discussion at the chamber's next meeting.
Chamber secretary Chris Bostock, who has reservations about the move, said Poundland's arrival into such a prime town centre location was bound to prompt discussion.
He said: "From my point of view it is always better to have a site occupied rather than being empty and derelict, so in that respect Poundland moving into the old Woolworths store must be welcomed.
"However, it could also be seen to mark a decline in the standards of shopping in Scarborough.
"We are of course not the only town to have a proliferation of this type of shop; it is a consequence of the economic climate over the last decade.
"But Scarborough has always tended to offer a different mix of shops to the stereotypical high street, promoting itself as having a wide selection of independent and specialist shops, in addition to leading high street stores.
"In a town striving to better itself, creating an ambience of quality under a renaissance umbrella, this is a step backwards. We should be aiming higher."
The meeting, which is being held next Tuesday at 6pm at the Town Centre Management office in Falconer's Road, will also see the chamber plan its programme of events and activities for the coming year.
Mr Bostock said: "This may well be another challenging year and as a chamber we need to see how we can support members through it.
"The meeting will be used to plan what events, sessions and activities members would like.
"We would welcome any new ideas and suggestions as to how we can make our meetings as useful, valuable and informative as we can for members."
Mr Bostock added the chamber, which has around 80 members from a full cross-section of local businesses, is always on the lookout for new members.
He said the benefits include "the opportunity to meet and network with other businesses and to get help, support and advice as well as inclusion on the chamber's website and in other publications", adding the chamber "also holds fun social events too".
Anyone interested in joining should contact Mr Bostock on (01723) 373900.
* What do you think? Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Write to: Evening News, Aberdeen Walk, Scarborough, Y011 1BB.
Text us: Text the word SENEDITOR and send with your message to 81800 (25p charge plus standard national rate. See terms in Public Notices)
Join the website Forum debate at www.scarborougheveningnews.co.uk