Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Shops on the high street in Ramsgate

Latest one to open is the shoe shop in the picture.

There is a new film about this too

And the unfortunate news that we have not been given the funding http://thanetpress.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/anger-over-lack-of-government-funding.html

My take on the UK high street problem is that wee are heading into a new world once again. The internet and out of town shopping caused a revolution in terms of what’s on the high street and now mobile phones with internet access are going to produce a new one.

In my own case I go to Tesco and see a dvd or game I want priced £11.99, I point my mobile phone’s camera at the barcode, the app on it tells me it is £9.99 in Azda or £6 including delivery online, I press the buy it now button and continue shopping.

In my own bookshop I overcome this problem by pointing the thing at the books I sell before I price them and using this situation to my advantage. 

In retail the bookselling world is one I understand fairly well, my family have had a number of bookshops during the hundred years and although I am no a shop assistant in a second hand bookshop, I was once one in several new bookshops. As a charter bookseller I was entitled to 35% discount from publishes instead of the normal 33%.

Now of course all this has been swept away and the whole new retail book world on and off line has been improved. Approached this brave new word as a publisher and was told that they required 60% discount, with the implication that if I applied 65% discount there was a high probability that they cold make a book into a bestseller. Not you understand based on any literary merit but purely on the amount of discount. 

With the expansion of town centre retail and the demand for the better shop sites property values and the associated rents and rates increased, this presents considerable difficulties in today’s market.

At the moment for the most part food shops remain due to the perishable nature of food, in the longer term I doubt that people travelling to out of town shops will be environmentally sustainable.

But what of course suffers most is the human environment, as towns turn to being more housing estates with interesting architecture and associated social problems.    

It seems that there is probably still a chance of the Thanet towns getting some of the funding.

Local shops seem to be trying to address this issue by providing services that would be difficult to provide online. I took these two pictures today.

 I guess this means that children with one foot bigger than the other can by shoes of two different sizes, what happens when the become adults with different sized feet is unclear.

There is a clothes repair and alterations shop opening in the High Street soon too. Although I think I am the only manufacturing retailer in the town, apart from possibly picture framers, as I print my local books in the shop, so in comes the paper in and card and out go the books, which I also sell to other shops         

I will add to this post as I get time


  1. Thanks for the great Ramsgate video.
    Now can we get one about Margate?
    Oh No! I can almost read the protest posters from here and it is still only an idea.
    If only Thanet residents [and councillors] could spend as much energy PROMOTING the area as they do KNOCKING it, we would have a really attractive tourist destination!

  2. Actually the Portas Pilot Town bids are still ongoing, it's just that HMG issued a rather muddled statement on Friday which coincided with the deadline for the Portas bids saying that they were giving £100k to 100 towns in addition to the 12 (now 24) potential Portas Pilot towns (who will also get £100k). Unfortunately none of the Thanet towns were included in the new 100. It's as yet unclear what the criteria for selecting those were.

    I hope I've made that clearer than the government did, although, on re-reading, I'm not at all sure.

    Anyway, the message is that we can still all get behind Ramsgate's bid!

  3. The video included above was produced by the Ramsgate Town Team, who submitted the town's Portas bid, which is the second round of grants, Thanet missed out on the first round. There is also a bid being made by separately by Broadstairs and Margate so you should be able to find their videos on YouTube as well

  4. Thanks for the info, I am feeling my way on this one and with the Pleasurama decision on Thursday, such time as I devote to local issues has been tied up.


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