Whilst I am dismayed with the reports that our town centres are being denuded of shops, and the consequence of job losses, plus the media attention to high-profile national retail outlets, it really is a sense of deja vu.
In the mid 1970s to the early 1980s more than a million small enterprises went out of business, butchers, bakers, grocers, greengrocers, local hardware stores, that was the start of the disappearance of so-called ‘corner shops’.
People stopped shopping locally and embraced the supermarkets, I know as my wife and I had a bakery in York, to put it more into perspective when we bought the bakery there were more than 20 bakeries in York in 1972, by 1980 only four remained, two of those happened to be reasonable size not the corner shop type, but they too vanished soon after leaving two out of town bakeries to supply York citizens.
Here in Scarborough we have only one butcher in the town and that is in the revamped market building, for a fishing port that once was we can count the number of wet fish shops on two fingers, why? The answer is simple, out of town shopping supermarkets and the need for people to use shopping now as a leisure pursuit.