Chain stores in the North Laine

Photo:Sydney Street

Sydney Street

Photo by Peter Crowhurst

Is the character of the area being threatened?

By Peter Crowhurst, North Laine resident

In recent years, as the North Laine has become busier and busier and for many more prosperous, we have seen chain stores gradually creep into the North Laine. Already we have a Starbuck, Tesco, GBK, Pizza Express, Wagamama etc. With high rents being charged in what is seen as an up and coming commercial sector how many more chains will we see?

A quirky place

The North Laine is often portrayed as a place that is different from the high street, a place where in small, independent shops you can find different, quirky items not available in the all to familiar shops found on every high street in the land.

Is its character changing?

Historically in the North Laine there has been a mix of small-scale housing, warehousing, manufacturing and retail. Is this mix now being threatened by the arrival of the chain store? Will the character of the area be changed once the small, independent retail outlets go, to be replaced by the high street stores? Will the North Laine become another victim of the consumerism of our society or is this just the way the market operates?

This page was added on 23/02/2008.

Yes - let's hope the chain stores do not breed any further in North Laine. Fortunately, most of the stores mentioned here are confined to the newly developed area. Unfortunately, Tesco is a necessary evil due to the extended opening hours it offers and supply of essentials. As a resident in the area since 1988, I remember a time when the only shop where you could purchase milk after 6pm was the off licence in Queen's Road near the Clock Tower.

By Sharon Carter
On 10/06/2008

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.