Optimism for Stalham future
MARK Twain's famous quote “Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated,” could well apply to the market town of Stalham.Stalham Happing Business Group chairman and retail landlord Roy Woolsey said: “Since Tesco arrived on the edge of town the retail landscape has changed somewhat and we have had a period of change and adjustment, but the High Street is fighting back.
MARK Twain's famous quote “Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated,” could well apply to the market town of Stalham.
Stalham Happing Business Group chairman and retail landlord Roy Woolsey said: “Since Tesco arrived on the edge of town the retail landscape has changed somewhat and we have had a period of change and adjustment, but the High Street is fighting back.”
Despite the general economic downturn which is affecting many businesses, Mr Woolsey is cautiously optimistic about the future of the town - which has seen a spate of new businesses - and for the first time in years, is close to 100pc retail occupancy.
Seven new retail businesses have changed the face of the High Street over the last 12 months and there is a general consensus amongst them that business is looking good.
Hair, fashion and beauty is strongly represented adding a touch of glamour to the town. Fairytale gowns offers wedding dresses, evening gowns and exotic accessories while the The Sun & Beauty Rooms provides a wide range of beauty treatments and sun tanning in pleasant, modern surroundings. Elite Cuts hairdressers and The Barbers complete the picture.
Family business William James Antiques has moved into the old Maid's Head providing plenty of space to show their quality antique clocks and furniture which retail from £100 to £10,000. Just over six months into their Stalham venture, business is brisk with both local sales and overseas orders.
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On the home front, Norwich family firm Bateman's Carpets have just opened shop in the middle of the High Street to provide old-fashioned family service for domestic and commercial customers.
Reads Coffee House - with its bright modern interior and a quiet corner with soft seating - offers a tranquil spot for a snack or lunch, with home-made cakes and local ingredients its hallmark.
The newcomers add weight to a town that has many established businesses and services including a well-stocked convenience store, a popular butchers and a hardware store, which has just celebrated 25 years in the town.
Furthermore, following the merger between Alliance Pharmacy and Boot's, the town's chemist has just been transformed into a Boots Local Pharmacy, retaining the original staff whilst introducing a whole range of brands, which were not previously available.
“There really is a great deal of variety here in Stalham now - with businesses too numerous to mention. Add to this, the availability of three hours free parking at Tesco, with quick and easy access to the High Street - and free short term on-street parking for flying visits - then we believe the town is well placed to meet the needs of shoppers and visitors from local areas or further afield,” said Mr Woolsey.