We need more independent shops in Worthing

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Letter to Worthing Town Centre manager, Sharon Clarke:

I was furious to read your comment in last week’s Worthing Herald (page 5) regarding the “No Sign of Primark” article.

At the end of the column, you state: “Online shopping is expanding and people only shop for budget items in the town, such as food and beauty buys”. Mrs Clarke you are wrong so please stop being so defeatist!

I have grown up in Worthing, and although I am delighted to read about the forthcoming restaurant hub, I am appalled by your statement about the shopping. I am slowly watching my beloved town die in this respect and your comment about online shopping is simply not true.

I for one do not enjoy buying clothes and other items on line, I prefer to browse the shops, look at the quality of the items and take my choices home there and then. Have you been to Blue Water lately? There are people shopping there – not on line shopping! I am in my 40s by the way. I am not old and certainly not technophobic.

Montague Street, with the closure of BHS and the imminent departure of Next in the spring is becoming extremely downmarket.

It used to be a thriving centre for shopping but the increasing number of charity shops and budget chain stores has seen it rapidly decline. It is not an attractive place to shop; Pound Land for example is a dirty shop – surely you must have noticed? Do we really want more of this? Worthing should be encouraging more independent shops to come to the town centre, so that we can offer shoppers something other than Pound Land or various phone shops and opticians. We need people to want to come for the whole shopping and restaurant experience, not just pick up cheap “beauty buys”.

Please start making Montague Street attractive for shop owners. Surely the council can do something or is it all about the money it receives from the rates?

You have to break a few eggs to make an omelette and we need to be somewhere like Chichester or Brighton who have an attractive range of shops to encourage people into the town, shops like Zoo, which sadly closed recently.

This will encourage people into the town and see Worthing town centre thrive in a few years. Please don’t give up on Worthing town centre! Less Pound Land cheap and dirty shops – more individual sellers please! You are driving people away! Don’t let it happen!

Celia Walker (Mrs)

Wiston Avenue

Worthing

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