Other nearby towns and cities have Primark – why not St Helens? !
Full details about Other nearby towns and cities have Primark – why not St Helens?
It’s today’s topic
ew issues are as controversial as the plight of downtown St Helens.
Like many regions across the country, the Central Retail District has seen the departure of many national brands.
Holes have been left on Main Street, as buildings that once swarmed with shoppers have been replaced by coffee shops, coffee shops, apartments, and nail bars.
Others stand empty.
Lots of retailers remain
However, there is still quite a bit of retail in St Helens, with independent stores such as ODs and Sidewalk along with the likes of River Island, Boots, Pandora, Superdrug, H Samuel, New Look, TJ Hughes, Sports Direct and Rymans and Clinton and JD Sports.
As reported last week, women’s fashion chain Select will be moving into the former Burtons Building in the near future.
Read more: What happens in the former Ina Shaw building?
Retail parks and city districts also boast the likes of M&S, Next, Matalan and TK Maxx.
There can be no hiding the losses downtown, with H&M joining a long list that has departed over the past decade.
There are major regeneration plans around the town centre, focused on the redevelopment of Hardshaw Center and surrounding grounds.
Creating a new bus station, office space, new hotel and food market hall, while also changing the look of that area is part of the long-term plans.
But will that solve the apparent decline in retail in St. Helens?
We need Primark
A common suggestion for giving a retail district a shot in the arm is a large anchor store attraction that draws shoppers to the high street. The theory is that the increase in footfall (of people who head into town with a desire to spend) will also boost other stores.
The common suggestion? Well, those who check out the city’s social media ecosystem will know that the name Primark is often thrown around.
or some it became a joke when discussions of the city center took place onacebook pages.
But why doesn’t St. Helens own Primark, which has become known as an affordable brand? Neighboring towns Wigan and Warrington both have shops, as do Southport and Birkenhead.
And of course there is a store in Liverpool.
What Primark said
Primark is expanding to different parts of the country but there was no indication it would make it to St Helens, despite the apparent desire of many people here to set up one.
It’s not something the star has been able to engage the retail giant in a detailed grilling about, but we did get a response when we asked if he would have any interest in coming to St Helens.
A Primark spokesperson said: “We are constantly reviewing expansion opportunities for Primark’s business however, as you would expect, we do not comment on speculation about where and when our next stores will open.
“We encourage customers in the St Helens area to visit our stores in Liverpool, Warrington, Wigan and Trafford.”
This does not give much.
It also raises the question of whether St Helens’ location in the heart of the North West – with its excellent road links – really hampers its chances as the big chains can signal shoppers to those neighbourhoods.
Read more: The ambition to breathe new life into the historic pub
However, the flip side is that these same links can be useful because they are within easy reach of shoppers who may be driving from other areas.
Perhaps big names like Nike andlannels, which have both taken place in St Helens, albeit in Ravenhead Retail Park, are examples of this.
The response at least means that people who want Primark to be a catalyst for retail have an acknowledgment that the retail giant is aware of the general desire to shop here.
The “We Need Primark” calls on social media are unlikely to stop.
What do you think? Does St Helens need a Primark? And if so, where do you think it should be?