Shops on Sutton High Street ask for help

Sutton Guardian: Shops on Sutton High Street ask for help Shops on Sutton High Street ask for help

Businesses in Sutton High Street are calling for more to be done to help those struggling, and for more empty shops to be brought back into use.

A survey of the High Street has shown it is dominated by empty premises, banks and phone shops.

Of the 156 units on the high street, 13 are empty, 18 are banks and 10 are phone shops.

Although Sutton fairs slightly better than the national average, with one in twelve empty shops compared to one in ten nationally according to the British Retail Consortium, three of its landmark stores are in trouble.

Camera shop Jessops closed its doors for the final time last week about the same time HMV and Blockbusters went into administration.

Two businessmen on the high street, two of only a handful of independent shops, said more needs to be done to help businesses.

Nick Shah, who runs Gallery Gifts, said: "Things are getting a little bit better, but customer spending power is the lowest it has been and the business rates we pay here are crippling."

Jerry Cheshire, owner of Surrey Beds, agreed. He said: "If I could get out of my five year lease now I would. I'm not losing money, and we are up on this time last year, but I would relocate if I had the chance."

Mr Cheshire who has been in business 13 years, said the council should penalise landlords whose shops are empty.

Councillor Jayne McCoy, the councils business spokeswoman, said: "The decisions on this (penalising landlords) sits entirely with central government legislation. We would like to see Government introduce disincentives to businesses leaving properties empty."

"When we look at the number of empty shops it has shown a level of resilience that not only rivals other areas but also falls well below the national average."

Paul Cawthorne, from Sutton Chamber of Commerce, said empty shops should be seen as opportunities for new businesses.

He said: "I'm very positive about Sutton's future. We had two major developments announced last year. The economy is starting to pick up and Sutton is an excellent position and we are hoping to attract more boutique-style shops and independent specialist shops."

Comments (12)

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1:44pm Mon 28 Jan 13

ResidentTony says...

I really hope HMV stays open - looks like this could happen now. In general, I think the quality of the shops is as important as the quantity. I notice that the recent openings over the past couple of years have mainly been high quality one such as Brasserie Vacherin, Pattisserie Valerie, Uno, Tazza and Caffe Nero. It would be great if the empty spaces could be filled by the likes of Pret a Manger, Monsoon and Gap. A few interesting independent stores would also be good. Let's just hope the country does not go into a triple dip recession next quarter.
I really hope HMV stays open - looks like this could happen now. In general, I think the quality of the shops is as important as the quantity. I notice that the recent openings over the past couple of years have mainly been high quality one such as Brasserie Vacherin, Pattisserie Valerie, Uno, Tazza and Caffe Nero. It would be great if the empty spaces could be filled by the likes of Pret a Manger, Monsoon and Gap. A few interesting independent stores would also be good. Let's just hope the country does not go into a triple dip recession next quarter. ResidentTony
  • Score: 0

10:03pm Tue 29 Jan 13

justbeinghonest says...

The selection of shops in Sutton are terrible.there is nothing,no ladies fashion shops & nothing for men.
I always go to Kingston.
Sutton is ok for the very young & those who are on the dole,all the clothes shops are of poor quality.
as for buying gifts Argos just does not do it for me.
Sutton town is becoming a slum,ive only been here 13 years & noticed how much it has declined in the last 3.
soon it will become a no go area.
The selection of shops in Sutton are terrible.there is nothing,no ladies fashion shops & nothing for men. I always go to Kingston. Sutton is ok for the very young & those who are on the dole,all the clothes shops are of poor quality. as for buying gifts Argos just does not do it for me. Sutton town is becoming a slum,ive only been here 13 years & noticed how much it has declined in the last 3. soon it will become a no go area. justbeinghonest
  • Score: 0

3:40pm Wed 30 Jan 13

ResidentTony says...

I think the previous so-called "honest john" comment is actually quite DIShonest. Sutton is smaller than Kingston, so the two are not fair comparators. You don't have to go Argos for gifts - have you not noticed that Debenhams is in Sutton, as is the brilliant two storey Waterstones, which I personally love. As for clothing M&S and NEXT are not known for being of poor quality, and both do menswear. And regarding eating out, Brasserie Vacherin is listed in the Good Food Guide and gets people coming from outside the borough, never mind the town, to eat there. Also, Sutton has virtually the lowest unemployment rate in Greater London. All in all, Sutton has improved a lot over the past three years, which is all the more impressive considering the national recession; and it is set to improve further over the next few years as major new development projects worth hundreds of millions of pounds get underway. We just need to make sure we keep the A&E at St Helier and stop talking the place down, as this can become a self-stoking process.
I think the previous so-called "honest john" comment is actually quite DIShonest. Sutton is smaller than Kingston, so the two are not fair comparators. You don't have to go Argos for gifts - have you not noticed that Debenhams is in Sutton, as is the brilliant two storey Waterstones, which I personally love. As for clothing M&S and NEXT are not known for being of poor quality, and both do menswear. And regarding eating out, Brasserie Vacherin is listed in the Good Food Guide and gets people coming from outside the borough, never mind the town, to eat there. Also, Sutton has virtually the lowest unemployment rate in Greater London. All in all, Sutton has improved a lot over the past three years, which is all the more impressive considering the national recession; and it is set to improve further over the next few years as major new development projects worth hundreds of millions of pounds get underway. We just need to make sure we keep the A&E at St Helier and stop talking the place down, as this can become a self-stoking process. ResidentTony
  • Score: 0

7:26pm Wed 30 Jan 13

jackson80 says...

Sutton has the potential to re-define itself as a "foodie" destination. There are already a plethora of cafes and decent restaurants (which are always full). Quality would be key. Creating a cafe/food culture in Sutton would attract more people to the area and increase sales in other shops.
Sutton has the potential to re-define itself as a "foodie" destination. There are already a plethora of cafes and decent restaurants (which are always full). Quality would be key. Creating a cafe/food culture in Sutton would attract more people to the area and increase sales in other shops. jackson80
  • Score: 0

11:55pm Wed 30 Jan 13

justbeinghonest says...

@ResidentTony
I take it you are over 45 & dont get out much.
@ResidentTony I take it you are over 45 & dont get out much. justbeinghonest
  • Score: 0

1:05pm Thu 31 Jan 13

ResidentTony says...

The foodie idea is a good one. It is definitely one for the Town Centre Management Group etc to consider. I walk the length of Sutton High twice a day to and from work, and am struck by the quality and popularity of the coffee bars and restaurants, many of which have opened only recently.
The foodie idea is a good one. It is definitely one for the Town Centre Management Group etc to consider. I walk the length of Sutton High twice a day to and from work, and am struck by the quality and popularity of the coffee bars and restaurants, many of which have opened only recently. ResidentTony
  • Score: 0

1:21am Fri 1 Feb 13

justbeinghonest says...

I was on about the quality & selection of shops.
Good for you on walking the High St twice a day,you should then know what an awful selection of shops we have.
Kingston is bigger but it does not mean we have to put up with the dregs of retail just because we are a smaller town.
It needs quite a few up to date shops to make it worth while shopping in Sutton,until then im sure most people would agree Sutton is a dumping ground for cheap,tacky shops.
Kingston will win all day long,even Croydon would beat Sutton
I was on about the quality & selection of shops. Good for you on walking the High St twice a day,you should then know what an awful selection of shops we have. Kingston is bigger but it does not mean we have to put up with the dregs of retail just because we are a smaller town. It needs quite a few up to date shops to make it worth while shopping in Sutton,until then im sure most people would agree Sutton is a dumping ground for cheap,tacky shops. Kingston will win all day long,even Croydon would beat Sutton justbeinghonest
  • Score: 0

7:56am Fri 1 Feb 13

lordofzombies says...

i notice no one has mentioned the St Nicholas center or time square, they used to have so much in! now its a waste of time to even go to the second floors.
i notice no one has mentioned the St Nicholas center or time square, they used to have so much in! now its a waste of time to even go to the second floors. lordofzombies
  • Score: 0

7:57am Fri 1 Feb 13

lordofzombies says...

i know the article was about the high street but if you include the shops closed in there. it just shows how empty sutton is.
i know the article was about the high street but if you include the shops closed in there. it just shows how empty sutton is. lordofzombies
  • Score: 0

12:26pm Fri 1 Feb 13

Laura M. says...

If you want to make your voice heard and help shops in Sutton High Street, please sign this petition: http://gotosign.co.u
k/businesses-in-sutt
on-high-street-call-
for-help
If you want to make your voice heard and help shops in Sutton High Street, please sign this petition: http://gotosign.co.u k/businesses-in-sutt on-high-street-call- for-help Laura M.
  • Score: 0

12:26pm Fri 1 Feb 13

Laura M. says...

If you want to make your voice heard and help shops in Sutton High Street, please sign this petition: http://gotosign.co.u
k/businesses-in-sutt
on-high-street-call-
for-help
If you want to make your voice heard and help shops in Sutton High Street, please sign this petition: http://gotosign.co.u k/businesses-in-sutt on-high-street-call- for-help Laura M.
  • Score: 0

12:41pm Fri 1 Feb 13

ResidentTony says...

As I've said before any shopping area that has a five storey Debenhams Department Store with upmarket concessions within it for high fashion, plus a large branch of Next can't be all bad. There is also an Accessorise and best of all a good Waterstones. There is room for more fashion shops to move in such as Zara, Gap, Jigsaw, Monsoon, French Connection et al, and perhaps they will, but if you talk the area down they won't. Sutton's current strength lies in some of its restaurants and coffee shops/cafes eg genuinely stylish and upmarket newish openings like Pattisserie Valerie and Brasserie Vacherin. This latter is listed in the highly respected "Good Food Guide" and is an honour bestowed on very few restaurants: that is why people travel miles to dine out there. Only last week an attractive new Tapas Bar opened up called Uno. And a second branch of Caffe Nero opened late last year. All this has given the High Street more of a quality feel and a genuine counterweight to its more basic shops. The area might be able to build on this strength as a springboard for more high fashion clothing retailers. and finally I believe there are plans to remodel Time Square so that the second floor is more accessible and therefore a better letting prospect.
As I've said before any shopping area that has a five storey Debenhams Department Store with upmarket concessions within it for high fashion, plus a large branch of Next can't be all bad. There is also an Accessorise and best of all a good Waterstones. There is room for more fashion shops to move in such as Zara, Gap, Jigsaw, Monsoon, French Connection et al, and perhaps they will, but if you talk the area down they won't. Sutton's current strength lies in some of its restaurants and coffee shops/cafes eg genuinely stylish and upmarket newish openings like Pattisserie Valerie and Brasserie Vacherin. This latter is listed in the highly respected "Good Food Guide" and is an honour bestowed on very few restaurants: that is why people travel miles to dine out there. Only last week an attractive new Tapas Bar opened up called Uno. And a second branch of Caffe Nero opened late last year. All this has given the High Street more of a quality feel and a genuine counterweight to its more basic shops. The area might be able to build on this strength as a springboard for more high fashion clothing retailers. and finally I believe there are plans to remodel Time Square so that the second floor is more accessible and therefore a better letting prospect. ResidentTony
  • Score: 0

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