Street is thriving, says business boss
WOOD Street is still a thriving area for high quality shops and restaurants offering a lot for those looking to set up business, says Richard Deacon, the chairman of Old Town Business Association.
And his view is shared by many other traders in the historic street.
In recent weeks a number of shops have closed in the area for a number of reasons, raising concern over about trading conditions in the area.
But Richard, who runs Deacon’s Jewellers, says demand is high for both the units and it will not be long before they are filled again.
Last Saturday Juvals, an exclusive clothes shop, shut its doors for the final time when the owner retired after more than 20 years.
And on March 28, sandwich shop Yummies also shut when the owner retired. It had been open since 1983.
“The circumstances of businesses are constantly changing and it is only natural that from time to time there is going to be movement as people get older,” said Richard.
“I don’t think this is something to be concerned about as demand for the units is very high. I am sure that it will not be too long before they are full again.
“They are in a prime location and I would expect to see a lot of interest from people looking to move to the area.”
Richard believes one of the main draws to Old Town is its reputation for having unique and individual shops which can often not be found anywhere else in the Swindon area.
He said: “There are a lot of independent traders which means Old Town is a unique place to shop for anyone who wants something different.
“What we are probably missing at the moment, now that Juvals has gone, is a clothes store.
“I believe that if any shop was to offer that, be it for men or women’s clothing, then it would do very well, while also providing a boost to the area.”
It has been well documented that in the years after the economic crash, trading conditions were often very difficult for shops and Old Town was no exception.
However, with business reportedly picking up in high streets around the country, the future is looking a little brighter than it did just a short time ago for Old Town traders.
“I think everyone is a little more confident than they were perhaps a few years ago,” said Richard.