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Town bucking the trend with thriving shops
7:57am Monday 17th September 2012 in News
PERSHORE town centre is thriving despite a more gloomy outlook across the West Midlands as a whole.
There are only ‘three or four’ empty shops in Pershore, compared to a vacancy rate of 18.5 per cent across the region, up from 17.7 per cent six months ago, according to a report by the Local Data Company. The average vacancy rate nationally was reported as 14.6 per cent at the end of June, up from 14.3 per cent six months ago.
Fiona Abbott, chair of Pershore Chamber of Trade, said the town was in a much better position than other market towns and was working hard to promote itself as an attractive destination for visitors and shoppers.
“Our loyalty card scheme, Pride, has been a roaring success. It now has more than 100 businesses taking part and other market towns across the country have contacted Pershore for information on how to recreate the project’s success.
“As a market town, we’re very strong. If you compare us to other places we’re in a much better position.
“The empty windows that we do have, we make a effort to work with the landlord to utilise the space and any small properties that come up on the market are normally taken quite quickly.
“People like to have their afternoon trips to certain destinations and because Pershore as a town actually promotes itself, we’re seen as quite an attractive destination.”
Ms Abbott, who owns the Three Little Pigs gift shop, says she believes the size of properties in Pershore lend themselves to independent traders, which could be the reason that Evesham is suffering so much more in comparison.
She said: “Most of our shops are small so they can be taken up by independents and are a bit more manageable. The big corporates are suffering more than independents.
“I think that’s why Evesham is suffering; the size of shops are so huge they cannot sustain them.”