It's not parking charges keeping people away - maybe our shops are TOO good? says Bournemouth chamber president

Bournemouth Echo: It's not parking charges keeping people away - maybe our shops are TOO good? says Bournemouth chamber president It's not parking charges keeping people away - maybe our shops are TOO good? says Bournemouth chamber president

Shoppers may be abandoning Bournemouth because our shops are TOO good, says the president of Bournemouth's Chamber of Trade and Commerce.

In his regular column for Dorset Business, Nigel Hedges says he can't understand why shoppers are staying away from the town.

He says: "One nagging mystery is, with the confidence national brands show in opening prestige offers here and the thriving local trading suburbs who play to their very local audiences, that many one-time shoppers have dropped us off their 'to do' list.

"It's not the cost of parking, we have helpful Rangers to guide you to your destination, we've still got the gardens and an amazing retail offer.

"Maybe our shops are TOO tempting; they can't spend all their spare change on a coffee surely?"

Mr Hedges, who says he can remember when empty shops were unheard of, believes the current downtown is not part of the "regular cycle" of business - but says he has noticed a recent upswing which he hopes will be the pattern for 2013. 

Read the whole column here.

Comments (31)

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10:19am Fri 22 Feb 13

Tripod says...

Why is this Guy President of the Chanber of Commerce when He hasn't got a clue.
Why is this Guy President of the Chanber of Commerce when He hasn't got a clue. Tripod
  • Score: 0

10:21am Fri 22 Feb 13

boyerboy says...

Hmmm anyone seen his shop......??????
Hmmm anyone seen his shop......?????? boyerboy
  • Score: 0

10:25am Fri 22 Feb 13

skydriver says...

There are too many charity and empty shops in Bournemouth, how that can be because are shops are too good I just can't understand..........
....he's a president so he can say what he likes ........sad it all a load of rubbish........what did you say your outlet was????
There are too many charity and empty shops in Bournemouth, how that can be because are shops are too good I just can't understand.......... ....he's a president so he can say what he likes ........sad it all a load of rubbish........what did you say your outlet was???? skydriver
  • Score: 0

10:29am Fri 22 Feb 13

DemonDiva says...

Unbelievable comment he makes! What planet is he on??

I haven't been in Bournemouth Town Centre for at least 10 years to shop. I pass through on the way to the BIC or Pavilion and that's it.

I cannot remember the last time I set foot inside a single shop in the town centre, it has been so long.

There is NOTHING to attract the general public to the town centre as far as I'm concerned.

Unless you're teenage up to mid-20s, and hitting the "metropolitan" pubs, clubs and restaurants, I honestly don't know why anyone would want to be down there.

Just my point of view as a Bournemouth resident of 45 years.
Unbelievable comment he makes! What planet is he on?? I haven't been in Bournemouth Town Centre for at least 10 years to shop. I pass through on the way to the BIC or Pavilion and that's it. I cannot remember the last time I set foot inside a single shop in the town centre, it has been so long. There is NOTHING to attract the general public to the town centre as far as I'm concerned. Unless you're teenage up to mid-20s, and hitting the "metropolitan" pubs, clubs and restaurants, I honestly don't know why anyone would want to be down there. Just my point of view as a Bournemouth resident of 45 years. DemonDiva
  • Score: 0

10:31am Fri 22 Feb 13

l'anglais says...

Maybe people want to shop somewhere where parking is guaranteed and free.
Maybe people want to shop somewhere where parking is guaranteed and free. l'anglais
  • Score: 0

10:38am Fri 22 Feb 13

anigel says...

I don't shop there because of parking. certainly not because the shops are too good.
I don't shop there because of parking. certainly not because the shops are too good. anigel
  • Score: 0

10:42am Fri 22 Feb 13

speedy231278 says...

No, it's because the parking charges are too high, the shops are mostly coffee shops, Tesco, those selling to specific minorities such as Asians and Poles (personally, I love Asian ingredients but they won't be everyone's cup of tea), or empty. The rest are mostly an endless array of restuarants, sandwich shops, and not much else. The place is overwhelmed with Big Issue thugs, chuggers, homeless drunks and people shoving leaflets in your face.

Mr Hedges, people don't visit because the place is full of poor shops, not good ones. How about a proper fruit and veg shop? A decent butcher? A decent fishmonger? You won't find any within a mile or more of the centre of town, then wonder why people don't come here!
No, it's because the parking charges are too high, the shops are mostly coffee shops, Tesco, those selling to specific minorities such as Asians and Poles (personally, I love Asian ingredients but they won't be everyone's cup of tea), or empty. The rest are mostly an endless array of restuarants, sandwich shops, and not much else. The place is overwhelmed with Big Issue thugs, chuggers, homeless drunks and people shoving leaflets in your face. Mr Hedges, people don't visit because the place is full of poor shops, not good ones. How about a proper fruit and veg shop? A decent butcher? A decent fishmonger? You won't find any within a mile or more of the centre of town, then wonder why people don't come here! speedy231278
  • Score: 0

10:44am Fri 22 Feb 13

speedy231278 says...

"we have helpful Rangers to guide you to your destination, we've still got the gardens and an amazing retail offer."

And apart from eat up my Council Tax, what exactly do these people actually do? Wander about in another made up job, like Tesco helpfully employing people to stand by their checkouts with a big sign saying 'space here' on it!
"we have helpful Rangers to guide you to your destination, we've still got the gardens and an amazing retail offer." And apart from eat up my Council Tax, what exactly do these people actually do? Wander about in another made up job, like Tesco helpfully employing people to stand by their checkouts with a big sign saying 'space here' on it! speedy231278
  • Score: 0

11:30am Fri 22 Feb 13

Hessenford says...

I can remember when Bournemouth town centre was a bustling shopping centre, we had to walk in the road because the pavements were so full.
The council had decimated the town with its pedestrianisation and high parking charges, the shops are utter crap.
Mr Hedges need a reality check and serious medical help.
I can remember when Bournemouth town centre was a bustling shopping centre, we had to walk in the road because the pavements were so full. The council had decimated the town with its pedestrianisation and high parking charges, the shops are utter crap. Mr Hedges need a reality check and serious medical help. Hessenford
  • Score: 0

11:33am Fri 22 Feb 13

large_cheese says...

I think the parking charge reputation of Bournemouth has killed the number of prospective shoppers. I went in for something not too long ago and was surprised how cheap it was to park! Approx £1 hour at the Pavillion, mind you I preferred the sneaky free on street parking that locals knew about by the Council Offices - shame they have gone.

Or go to Castle Point and park for free - just time it right and you wont get stuck trying to get out the car park!

Shops too good and putting people off, this guy should be drug tested or he is an idiot - you decide!!!
I think the parking charge reputation of Bournemouth has killed the number of prospective shoppers. I went in for something not too long ago and was surprised how cheap it was to park! Approx £1 hour at the Pavillion, mind you I preferred the sneaky free on street parking that locals knew about by the Council Offices - shame they have gone. Or go to Castle Point and park for free - just time it right and you wont get stuck trying to get out the car park! Shops too good and putting people off, this guy should be drug tested or he is an idiot - you decide!!! large_cheese
  • Score: 0

11:42am Fri 22 Feb 13

Old Harry says...

I love this area and used to be proud of what it had to offer. Bournemouth town centre was special in so many ways, one of which was the high number of distinctive and unique privately owned shops. Sadly, over the years, many of these have closed and we are left with the same old boring national chains operating in a shopping environment which is not comparable to the experience which is offered by the likes of Southampton. Unless Bournemouth rediscovers its "class" the decline will continue.
I love this area and used to be proud of what it had to offer. Bournemouth town centre was special in so many ways, one of which was the high number of distinctive and unique privately owned shops. Sadly, over the years, many of these have closed and we are left with the same old boring national chains operating in a shopping environment which is not comparable to the experience which is offered by the likes of Southampton. Unless Bournemouth rediscovers its "class" the decline will continue. Old Harry
  • Score: 0

11:59am Fri 22 Feb 13

Letcommonsenseprevail says...

Unbelievable comments, what a numpty.
Unbelievable comments, what a numpty. Letcommonsenseprevail
  • Score: 0

12:10pm Fri 22 Feb 13

The Body In The Library says...

boyerboy wrote:
Hmmm anyone seen his shop......??????
I believe he runs Bourne Engraving off Yelverton road, it's down a tiny side street behind Barclays.

http://www.bournemou
thchamber.org.uk/mem
bership/member-2-mem
ber-offers/item/379-
bourne-engraving

Doughnuts get discounts apparently!
[quote][p][bold]boyerboy[/bold] wrote: Hmmm anyone seen his shop......??????[/p][/quote]I believe he runs Bourne Engraving off Yelverton road, it's down a tiny side street behind Barclays. http://www.bournemou thchamber.org.uk/mem bership/member-2-mem ber-offers/item/379- bourne-engraving Doughnuts get discounts apparently! The Body In The Library
  • Score: 0

12:26pm Fri 22 Feb 13

BIGTONE says...

In his regular column for Dorset Business, Nigel Hedges says he can't understand why shoppers are staying away from the town.



Then you need to stand down and go as a stand up comedian!!!!
In his regular column for Dorset Business, Nigel Hedges says he can't understand why shoppers are staying away from the town. Then you need to stand down and go as a stand up comedian!!!! BIGTONE
  • Score: 0

12:39pm Fri 22 Feb 13

BmthNewshound says...

The Body In The Library wrote:
boyerboy wrote:
Hmmm anyone seen his shop......??????
I believe he runs Bourne Engraving off Yelverton road, it's down a tiny side street behind Barclays.

http://www.bournemou

thchamber.org.uk/mem

bership/member-2-mem

ber-offers/item/379-

bourne-engraving

Doughnuts get discounts apparently!
Nigel Hedges says he can't understand why shoppers are staying away from the town....... Why do members of BCCI keep voting for him as their president ?
.
Hedges runs a poxy little one man lifestyle business. As a businessman he contributes nothing to the towns economy.
.
Reading the article in full I can only assume that it was written after Hedges had consumed one too many glasses of the cheap plonk they serve at the BCCI's alcohol fueled receptions
[quote][p][bold]The Body In The Library[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]boyerboy[/bold] wrote: Hmmm anyone seen his shop......??????[/p][/quote]I believe he runs Bourne Engraving off Yelverton road, it's down a tiny side street behind Barclays. http://www.bournemou thchamber.org.uk/mem bership/member-2-mem ber-offers/item/379- bourne-engraving Doughnuts get discounts apparently![/p][/quote]Nigel Hedges says he can't understand why shoppers are staying away from the town....... Why do members of BCCI keep voting for him as their president ? . Hedges runs a poxy little one man lifestyle business. As a businessman he contributes nothing to the towns economy. . Reading the article in full I can only assume that it was written after Hedges had consumed one too many glasses of the cheap plonk they serve at the BCCI's alcohol fueled receptions BmthNewshound
  • Score: 0

12:43pm Fri 22 Feb 13

Dr Strangelove says...

50p an hour parking would do the trick. This chap is clearly not living in 2013 go ask the chancellor why the government are letting inflation rip which removes disposable income he might learn something. All this to prop up the housing market but it is wrecking the rest of the economy still a 1 bed flat will be a £ million in two years time happy daze ah.
50p an hour parking would do the trick. This chap is clearly not living in 2013 go ask the chancellor why the government are letting inflation rip which removes disposable income he might learn something. All this to prop up the housing market but it is wrecking the rest of the economy still a 1 bed flat will be a £ million in two years time happy daze ah. Dr Strangelove
  • Score: 0

12:47pm Fri 22 Feb 13

muscliffman says...

Hessenford wrote:
I can remember when Bournemouth town centre was a bustling shopping centre, we had to walk in the road because the pavements were so full.
The council had decimated the town with its pedestrianisation and high parking charges, the shops are utter crap.
Mr Hedges need a reality check and serious medical help.
I can recall those same Bournemouth town-centre glory days.

What seperates these times from todays declining town centre?

No Parking charges.
No Pedestrianisation.

Add in an excellent Bus and Coach Station, less licensed premises, quality small and large shops - not cheap but classy, no Big Issue sellers, no Town Rangers - and perhaps they had the benfit of a Chamber of Commerce which had a clue.

Mr Hedges should consider his important position, he is in denial about one of the principle reasons our town centre patient is dying!
[quote][p][bold]Hessenford[/bold] wrote: I can remember when Bournemouth town centre was a bustling shopping centre, we had to walk in the road because the pavements were so full. The council had decimated the town with its pedestrianisation and high parking charges, the shops are utter crap. Mr Hedges need a reality check and serious medical help.[/p][/quote]I can recall those same Bournemouth town-centre glory days. What seperates these times from todays declining town centre? No Parking charges. No Pedestrianisation. Add in an excellent Bus and Coach Station, less licensed premises, quality small and large shops - not cheap but classy, no Big Issue sellers, no Town Rangers - and perhaps they had the benfit of a Chamber of Commerce which had a clue. Mr Hedges should consider his important position, he is in denial about one of the principle reasons our town centre patient is dying! muscliffman
  • Score: 0

1:27pm Fri 22 Feb 13

PokesdownMark says...

People in leadership positions who make judgements and decisions based on guesswork and subjective opinion are a menace.
Evidence is all that matters. Find a way to measure.
People in leadership positions who make judgements and decisions based on guesswork and subjective opinion are a menace. Evidence is all that matters. Find a way to measure. PokesdownMark
  • Score: 0

1:37pm Fri 22 Feb 13

Linguist says...

Mr Hedges - Nut job or numpty?
Mr Hedges - Nut job or numpty? Linguist
  • Score: 0

2:32pm Fri 22 Feb 13

hadvar says...

Mr Hedges is certainly perceptive. Often in life, many things are just too good. We dont want a quality offering. We are Dorzet yokels, after all. Mediocrity : that's what people round here really want. We need to start a serious debate about how we can make the town center experience a bit worse. Perhaps we could spread some dung and straw on the pavements. Or introduce parking bays large enough for the tractors we all travel in. That'll sort the problems out. Yes.
Mr Hedges is certainly perceptive. Often in life, many things are just too good. We dont want a quality offering. We are Dorzet yokels, after all. Mediocrity : that's what people round here really want. We need to start a serious debate about how we can make the town center experience a bit worse. Perhaps we could spread some dung and straw on the pavements. Or introduce parking bays large enough for the tractors we all travel in. That'll sort the problems out. Yes. hadvar
  • Score: 0

3:00pm Fri 22 Feb 13

ts12345 says...

I think the charges are fair. only costs a couple of pounds an hour, or you go to places that are free parking and the shops arnt really that good!
Better to pay and get the good shops of bournemouth, least there not as busy as castle point etc.If you all thought about the extra fuel etc of driving to places that are free parking there is no difference. There are better shops in bournemouth most of them will price match or always do a deal, and they need us to go there so just spend the money on parking and bournemouth will stay a nice place with open shops.
I think the charges are fair. only costs a couple of pounds an hour, or you go to places that are free parking and the shops arnt really that good! Better to pay and get the good shops of bournemouth, least there not as busy as castle point etc.If you all thought about the extra fuel etc of driving to places that are free parking there is no difference. There are better shops in bournemouth most of them will price match or always do a deal, and they need us to go there so just spend the money on parking and bournemouth will stay a nice place with open shops. ts12345
  • Score: 0

3:08pm Fri 22 Feb 13

Baywolf says...

Omg seriously? Too good? For what? Yes Tesco Metro just reeling in the visitors...
Omg seriously? Too good? For what? Yes Tesco Metro just reeling in the visitors... Baywolf
  • Score: 0

4:12pm Fri 22 Feb 13

Glashen says...

Truth is when I slog round the shops these days I rarely find what I want, whereas sitting in front of a computer screen everything is on offer at the click of a mouse. I'm glad I no longer try to sell things retail. Many more shops will close and those that remain will have to adapt to a a very different retail environment.
Truth is when I slog round the shops these days I rarely find what I want, whereas sitting in front of a computer screen everything is on offer at the click of a mouse. I'm glad I no longer try to sell things retail. Many more shops will close and those that remain will have to adapt to a a very different retail environment. Glashen
  • Score: 0

4:22pm Fri 22 Feb 13

The Liberal says...

Dr Strangelove wrote:
50p an hour parking would do the trick. This chap is clearly not living in 2013 go ask the chancellor why the government are letting inflation rip which removes disposable income he might learn something. All this to prop up the housing market but it is wrecking the rest of the economy still a 1 bed flat will be a £ million in two years time happy daze ah.
It already is, effectively: £1 for two hours at the Winter Gardens. Much lower than in Poole (which is also much grottier than Bournemouth IMHO, certainly full of litter).
[quote][p][bold]Dr Strangelove[/bold] wrote: 50p an hour parking would do the trick. This chap is clearly not living in 2013 go ask the chancellor why the government are letting inflation rip which removes disposable income he might learn something. All this to prop up the housing market but it is wrecking the rest of the economy still a 1 bed flat will be a £ million in two years time happy daze ah.[/p][/quote]It already is, effectively: £1 for two hours at the Winter Gardens. Much lower than in Poole (which is also much grottier than Bournemouth IMHO, certainly full of litter). The Liberal
  • Score: 0

4:47pm Fri 22 Feb 13

The Renegade Master says...

Mr. Hedges, that is the biggest load of drivel I've ever read! The simple fact is that people don't have as much money to spend so will prefer to shop at locations where they can park FOR FREE! Yes the town centre has some ok shops and attractions, but locals who are the bread and butter of the business are sick and tired of there being nowhere to park without being ripped off by high charges. If you want the town centre economy to pick up, cut the parking charges or make parking free altogether.
Mr. Hedges, that is the biggest load of drivel I've ever read! The simple fact is that people don't have as much money to spend so will prefer to shop at locations where they can park FOR FREE! Yes the town centre has some ok shops and attractions, but locals who are the bread and butter of the business are sick and tired of there being nowhere to park without being ripped off by high charges. If you want the town centre economy to pick up, cut the parking charges or make parking free altogether. The Renegade Master
  • Score: 0

5:38pm Fri 22 Feb 13

politicaltrainspotter says...

And there was i feeling depressed.Thanks for making me laugh, Mr Hedges.It's been a long time.
And there was i feeling depressed.Thanks for making me laugh, Mr Hedges.It's been a long time. politicaltrainspotter
  • Score: 0

6:55pm Fri 22 Feb 13

Hobad1 says...

l'anglais wrote:
Maybe people want to shop somewhere where parking is guaranteed and free.
For the first time in my life (and hopefully the last) I agree with what you have said.
[quote][p][bold]l'anglais[/bold] wrote: Maybe people want to shop somewhere where parking is guaranteed and free.[/p][/quote]For the first time in my life (and hopefully the last) I agree with what you have said. Hobad1
  • Score: 0

7:12pm Fri 22 Feb 13

Turtlebay says...

Too tempting? Try too expensive!

Parking rangers? Who's ever seen one of these, I haven't?
Too tempting? Try too expensive! Parking rangers? Who's ever seen one of these, I haven't? Turtlebay
  • Score: 0

9:27pm Fri 22 Feb 13

billm says...

I haven't noticed any upswing when I've been in town recently. I did notice several empty shops close to M & S in Commercial Road. If businesses can't survive in prime site positions like that things must be very bad.
I haven't noticed any upswing when I've been in town recently. I did notice several empty shops close to M & S in Commercial Road. If businesses can't survive in prime site positions like that things must be very bad. billm
  • Score: 0

8:52am Sat 23 Feb 13

Telscombe Cliffy says...

'We've still got the The Gardens', slightly ruined by an eyesore of a balloon at one end and a noisy flyover at the other and a collection of sheds in between. Most other towns and cities have great parks and gardens too so not a major draw for people to Bournemouth centre.
'We've still got the The Gardens', slightly ruined by an eyesore of a balloon at one end and a noisy flyover at the other and a collection of sheds in between. Most other towns and cities have great parks and gardens too so not a major draw for people to Bournemouth centre. Telscombe Cliffy
  • Score: 0

3:38pm Sat 23 Feb 13

jinglebell says...

What a twit!! There is nothing in Bournemouth that I can't get in Castle Point and park more easily.
Money is really tight now, so we all have to think long and hard about what we spend and how. Our family has for some time now tended toward trying to get something a bit different as the costs in chain stores are so prohibitive.
What takes us to other areas for special gifts are areas where there are plenty of independent shops selling something unique, different etc. and where there are art shops, and something to make the day enjoyable...and B'mth really only has a massive predominance of chain stores, so why bother? Its not fun or interesting in B'mth but a task to be avoided if possible or done quickly and get away from asap.
What a twit!! There is nothing in Bournemouth that I can't get in Castle Point and park more easily. Money is really tight now, so we all have to think long and hard about what we spend and how. Our family has for some time now tended toward trying to get something a bit different as the costs in chain stores are so prohibitive. What takes us to other areas for special gifts are areas where there are plenty of independent shops selling something unique, different etc. and where there are art shops, and something to make the day enjoyable...and B'mth really only has a massive predominance of chain stores, so why bother? Its not fun or interesting in B'mth but a task to be avoided if possible or done quickly and get away from asap. jinglebell
  • Score: 0

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