ANOTHER one bites the dust, as Chesterfield’s Co-op home and fashion department store loses its fight for survival.
Add that to Comet, HMV and Jessops and you’ve got a very sorry story to tell, indeed. Already there are people bellowing from the rooftops that Chesterfield is becoming a ‘ghost town’, and that the market will die and shops will be boarded up.
The doom-mongers and cynics will have already got themselves geared up to wallow in self-pity, and sound the death knell for Chesterfield.
But we absolutely must not let them.
Young Matty Pinder writes a Viewpoint column opposite in which he hits the nail on the head: times are not a-changin’ – they have changed!
Now more than ever we must all examine our habits, and look to play our part in ensuring the businesses that are striving to keep up with the rate of change are with us for years to come.
For me, that’s getting my fruit and veg from the market. It’s getting the dog’s biscuits from the brilliant little pet shop on Shirebrook market square – ‘I haven’t got what you want, Sir, but I’ll blooming well get it for you,’ he said.
A can-do attitude like that means he’s got a customer for life in me. But can-do attitudes sit in wait behind every small, local trader’s counter.
It’s the extra mile, the courteous smile and warm welcome that makes high street stores worth a visit.
I won’t say, ‘worth the extra pounds and pence’, because in my experience, the small-time trader is often making less profit margin on their goods than the big boys are.
So I guess the message is, yes, a big boy has fallen in the retail playground, but the playground isn’t closed for business.
It’s up to all of us to keep Chesterfield booming. Use ‘em or lose ‘em, folks!
by James Mitchinson, Editor
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