Saturday, February 06, 2010

And Now The Shopping Forecast

The forecast? Well, it seems to be steady as she goes, hold course and no sudden movements.

In a very tardy response to Rob, who commented on this story from September 2008, the BHS rebuild and the Canal Walk, Parade revamp seems to be the most we can hope for as the economy oh-so-slowly grows again.

But there is an indicator of how the recession has effected rebuilding work. The Debenhams store is to receive a modernisation, the retailer doing what it can in it's current premises as the Regent Place plan (which included a new Debenhams store) fell through.

House of Fraser is Swindon's split personality department store retailer. Selling racks of outlet discount ranges, while trying to do so under the 'House of Fraser' brand with the word 'outlet' bolted on smacks of not knowing their market, with there only being two other 'outlet stores' in the UK. Swindon seems to be one of a trio of locations where expectations for an up market department store weren't borne out by the shopper demographic that actually existed. Watering down a brand is not something that is easily reversed.

No new whispers to indicate whether House of Fraser will be moving out any time soon.

Swindon Centric Says ; Ask anyone who works in retail in Swindon how they would describe the profile of the town's shopper and they will only reply with one word, "cheap".

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