Sunday, March 09, 2008

Retail therapy in the Riverside Centre?

Bad news for Erith based shoppers this week; the excellent greeting card shop in the Riverside Shopping Centre closed down last weekend - it had only been open for a year. Then on Thursday I noticed that Wise, the independent furniture store, which also only opened a year or so ago, now has its' windows papered over. There are signs saying "Opening soon for a stock reorganisation and sale" but I am not holding my breath. The trouble is, with the exception of the excellent Morrison's supermarket, people do not travel to Erith to shop - it is not a destination town. This means that businesses that rely on more than strictly local trade are in trouble. Generally speaking, most local residents are on a pretty limited budget and don't tend to make many capital purchases. If you are selling premium furniture and don't get visitors from the likes of Bexleyheath or Dartford, you are going to find it very tough going as the locals cannot afford your prices. This would appear to be what Wise Furniture have discovered to their loss. The owners of the shopping centre must be worried; it has now been open for the best part of three years and has only managed to fill around a third of the retail units - and now even some of these tenants are pulling out. I fear it is a costly white elephant.

Work colleague Niel is also a fellow Blogger - you can read his musings here.

I completely missed the recent earthquake that hit most of the U.K. I slept through the whole shebang. It did prompt a round of comedy charity appeal Emails like the one below:

Disaster in Erith - An Appeal for Your Help

A major earthquake measuring 5.2 on the Richter scale hit in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Whilst the epicentre was close to Slade Green, Southeast London, there was only person injured and much damage was done in Erith.

The earthquake decimated the town, causing £30 worth of damage. Several priceless collections of mementos from the Balearic Isles and the Spanish Costa's were damaged beyond repair. Three areas of historical burnt out cars were disturbed.
Many locals were woken up well before their Giro arrived. Local radio reported that hundreds of residents were confused and bewildered, still trying to come to terms with the fact that something interesting had happened in Erith.

One resident, 15 year old mother of 3, Tracy Sharon Braithwaite said: "It was such a shock, my little Chardonnay-Madonna came running into my bedroom crying. The twins, Tyler-Morgan and Megan-Storm slept through it all. I was still shaking when I was watching Kilroy the next morning".

Locals were determined not to be bowed, as looting, shooting, muggings, drug dealing and car crime carried on as normal.

So far, whilst the British Red Cross has managed to ship 4000 crates of Sunny Delight to the area to relieve the suffering of stricken locals, rescue workers searching through the rubble have found large quantities of personal belongings including, benefit books, jewellery from Elizabeth Duke at Argos, and bone china from Pound-stretcher.

Can You Help....?

Please respond generously to our appeal for food and clothing or the victims of this disaster.

Clothing is needed most of all, especially:

* Fila or Burberry baseball caps

* Kappa tracksuit tops (his or hers)

* Shell suits (female)

* White sports socks

* Rockfort boots or any other product sold in Primark

Culturally sensitive food parcels are harder to put together, but your efforts will make a difference.

Microwave meals, tinned baked beans, ice-cream and cans of White Lightning or Special Brew are ideal.

Please do not give anything that requires peeling.


* 22p buys a biro for filling in compensation claims

* £2 buys chips, crisps and a blue fizzy drink for a family of 9

* £5 will pay for a packet of B&H and a lighter to calm a child's nerves

Urgently required: Tinned Staffie dog food. Bones for feeding Pit Bull terriers.

Please do not send tents for shelter. The sight of such posh housing will cause discontent in the surrounding South East London communities.

You have probably seen something of a similar vein before, but it does have more than a grain of truth to it.

I have been varnishing the woodwork and painting the radiator in the bathroom - not something I am particularly cut out to do. DIY and I are not close bed fellows it has to be said. I have decided to outsource much of my maintenance work to a local chap. A new garden fence will be installed, and various other tasks should shortly be actioned; long over due, the flooring in both the kitchen and bathroom is being replaced. Photos no doubt when it is complete.

My inner Geek (okay - that is most of me, I concede) was saddened to learn of the death of Dungeons & Dragons creator Gary Gygax this week. You can read his BBC obituary here.

And now for this weeks' video clip. From back in 1984, and a gig that I very well may have attended; here are Marillion and the title track from their debut album Script for a Jester's Tear.

1 comment:

  1. Script of a Jester's Tear - Ah my inner 15 year old rejoices!
    What a band, what a song, what a front man, what an album…

    I sorta agree about Erith but to be honest is Bexleyheath a destination shopping place?
    Or Welling?
    Or…well anywhere locally!
    The Broadway is so feckin' identify-kit it could be anywhere else in the country. Did you know it was owned by Norwich Union Insurance? Think it's been sold on now hence the refit. Back to Erith your right the clientele is lower paid variety but that to be honest is by-the-by. Always though Wises was the wrong shop for the centre plus their stocks dull as dishwater.
    A friend tried to set up a Coffee shop a year or so back but it was so expensive with the rent and council taxes etc that it's way out of a small business. Hence only chain stores can afford to set up and so the cycle goes on.
    Mind you it's 1000X better than what was there!
    I can see in another 5 years or so it dropping off into decay like the old centre just because the business aren't attracting people.