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Tears Loss

I’m writing this blog a few hours after it’s been announced that Debenhams is set to close in my home town of Altrincham in 2020

It joins another 21 stores that will also be closing across the UK

I’ve thought about the impact of store closures in towns and cities

Today is Debenhams, but it could be any store that has announced it’s closure in recent year. The breaking news this morning is a morning we’ve become used to as heritage store after heritage store closes on the high street. The stores we grew up with during our childhood are all disappearing from our life as adults. I remember Our Price, Stolen from Ivor and Woolies and look back with nostalgia like anyone else. I also remember the god awful service of Kwik Save and am happy that’s now a gym

It’s sad when a store closes, but perhaps we need to reframe the conversation

We need to stop talking about the loss to towns

By all means mourn the loss of jobs, be sympathetic for those that work in retail who worry about whether they can keep up their mortgage payments in the next 6 months. These are the people that are let down by store closures

But let’s all stop mourning the closure and loss of bricks and mortar stores

Town & cities don’t lose stores

Stores lose the towns & cities love

That is the crux of the matter – the stores that close have stopped offering what the public wanted

This isn’t the towns fault, the people’s fault or a time for mourning – it’s been a relationship that has been careering towards divorce for years and one that certainly isn’t a “no fault divorce”

It’s a chance for a positive change where towns can improve and we lose the deadwood and gain something that is embraced by the public

In the short term it’s never nice walking past boarded up stores and empty units, but long term towns and cities develop and change based on a customers needs and wants

The moment a business stops caring about their customers needs is a time we need to stop mourning and stop talking about loss

Long live the businesses that give the public what they want

Here’s to business who care enough

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Alex McCann

Author Alex McCann

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