Uckfield High Street - concerns over the number of charity shops

Independent traders speak out over Uckfield charity shops

Too many. That was the simple verdict of UckfieldNews.com readers on the number of charity shops in the High Street.

Residents’ views have been backed by shop-owners who say the charity outlets are ruining trade for independent traders.

An exclusive UckfieldNews.com story, spotlighting Uckfield High Street shops, showed there are ten charity shops in the town – soon to rise to 12. See story here

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Here are some comments taken from our Facebook page.

Commenting on the news that Chestnut Tree is to take over the former Corbin’s premises, Kay Bevan, of Jolie Couture said:

“As the owner of one of the two remaining independent ladies’ clothing stores in the town, I can’t believe the local authorities alone can allow this many charity shops in one small high street.

“I’m not against DONATING to charities, but there other ways.

‘Astronomical rates’

“We pay astronomical rates and get nothing for it, not even a bin. So, look at our pretty high street on an evening or Sunday night when bin bags of people’s unwanted goods are strewn over the pavements and piled up against the shops in the rain.

“In the last year, I have seen the cliental dramatically change and we are attracting shoppers who want to trawl the charity shops and literally ‘Moonwalk’ back out of my shop when they realise it’s not another.

“I sell quality branded stock that is equivalent to prices online and in other department stores that sell the same brand.

“You would still have to pay postage and parking in larger towns on top of the product you are purchasing, yet, now the customer is forced out of town because there is no choice and if you needed an item urgently, would you risk going to a town where there’s no choice.”

‘There is no variety’

Justine Dunsmore, of Paw n Claws, said: “Uckfield is becoming a town that no one wants to shop in as there is no variety, which for a shop owner myself is very sad.

“We keep going on and on about supporting local business and staying local but we are driving Uckfield residents out of town with lack of decent shops.”

Louise Beard of Josefina wrote: “We wanted to move to a bigger shop but the rates are so expensive our only option for a bigger premises is to move off the high street which our customers don’t want.

We looked to move into what was New Waves (which is going to be a charity shop) next to Hartfields and the rates were more than the rent.

“So, for now we stay put. It’s so important to support your local independent shops / businesses.

Please,no more charity shops

“It’s not always cheaper online. I always compare my prices online, I buy smart meaning I can retail at less than the internet but I can only do this by keeping my overheads low. Please no more charity shop.”

Sam Moore said: “It is because charity shops get big discounts on the rates (not sure about rent) which on its own is massively high on the High Street.

“My girlfriend moved up the road from 73 (New Waves) when her lease ended as the rent and rates were just silly.

“There was a fair bit of interest in 73, but the landlord in the end decides who goes in there, which will soon be Pepenburry.”

Jackie Penfold commented: “Why don’t they listen to the public. We have been saying for ages there are too many and yet they open more.”

Charity town

Lynsey Davis said: “We need decent clothing shops not charity shops.”

Andy Lazenby said: “Shall we just call Uckfield the charity town seeing as that’s all the shops we seem to get nowadays. When are Uckfield council going to listen to what people want to have in town. All they are doing is driving people away from Uckfield. Ridiculous.

Andy Kirk said: “The problem is the charity shops are the only people that can afford the expensive lease and business tax charges on prime retail positions.

Grants and allowances

“The grants and allowances they receive as a charitable status make this possible.

“It’s time that rent and business tax were made realistic and that will then spawn entrepreneurs to open specialist shops of interest. That in turn will bring prosperity to the town and actually make.it worth visiting again.”

Claire Coleman said: “Uckfield high street consists of hairdressers, coffee shops and charity shops. Sooner or later there will be nothing else here. People will not come to Uckfield to shop when there’s nothing to shop in.”

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See also:

Chestnut Tree to move in

Pepenbury lines up former salon

Worries over station car park plan

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