Town busy, but another shop to shut doors
AS BENETTON announces that it is the latest St Peter Port shop to be closing down, Town was still busy with shoppers.
The town centre has been hit hard in recent years by changes in shopping habits, with Covid-19 adding an extra challenge.
While it is hoped that Accessorize and Monsoon will reopen, the Pollet and Arcade has seen recent closures such as H. Samuel, Balloonees and Seasalt, as well as the longer term closures of Sail & Surf and Jack Willis.
In the Pollet, the former Swarovski shop still stands empty, as does the former Guernsey Goldsmiths premises.
In the High Street, the shop which housed Beghins for many years is available to let, while a charity shop has opened in the former Crew Clothing premises.
Emma Royson was shopping with her friend Sue Martel.
‘It is very sad to see High Street shops going,’ she said, after shopping in Benetton’s closing down sale.
‘It is nice to shop. It is difficult to predict what will happen in Town in the future.’
Nancy Dudley-Smith had come into Town for a haircut.
‘I don’t come in very often,’ she said.
‘But it seems pretty busy. I should come into Town more. It’s nice to see more shops open than during lockdown.’
Paul West was out shopping with his 11-year-old daughter, Phoebe.
‘It feels relatively vibrant today,’ he said.
‘People have bags and are spending money, so that seems quite positive.’
However he was more concerned about the outskirts of Town, like Mill Street and Mansell Street, which have long struggled to keep retail outlets long-term.
‘The High Street is easier to access for people,’ he said.
Carrie Murphy was shopping with her mum, Debbie Lawson.
‘It is quieter than usual [for this time of year] as there are no cruise ships,’ Miss Murphy said.
‘But I do like it being quiet. It is a nicer shopping experience. We are trying to shop local, but they have not got much stock in.’
Pat Bartlett has been cautious about going shopping in Town since lockdown. Before the crisis she would go shopping most days, but now she goes much less frequently.
‘There are more people in Town than I thought, but not as many as usual,’ she said. ‘It is lovely to see shops open.’
. The States has backed a support local campaign to encourage people to choose Guernsey businesses as part of its Revive and Thrive strategy.