Unfortunately work commitments mean I am working out of London during the week so haven’t been able to update as much as I’d like…
And so it comes to pass that Lewisham Shopping Centre is home to another trainer store for the male 18-30 demographic, one of 4 similar types store within touching distance in the Centre. I don’t know what it says about Lewisham that the newest additions to the heart of the borough’s shopping district disappoint with depressing regularity.
I see the problem as Land Securities lack of belief in the ambition of the people of Lewisham. I don’t know the ins and outs of shop unit rental in the retail business – perhaps there were no other takers – but consistently allowing the same type of store to open shows an inability to meet resident’s needs. To me it’s akin to opening up 4 betting shops, or 4 pound shops next to each other. It does nothing to enhance the local shopping experience.
I’m not against fashion or trainer stores in themselves, and I do understand that Lewisham isn’t Westfields or Blackheath. But in my opinion it shows a disregard for the folks of Lewisham who want a fulfilling shopping experience.
Is the problem a chicken vs egg scenario? Are the stores so uninspiring because footfall has been traditionally poor, lending itself to bargain shops and bog standard high street retailers? Or is that the shopping selection itself is outdated and poor, putting shoppers off and driving them elsewhere?
No one wants to see an identikit town centre and as much as I love the buzz of Lewisham, years of underinvestment means modernisation can’t come quickly enough.