It’s been several years since the
last totally unscientific Gurn High Street review took place, June 2009 to be exact,
during the public enquiry into Sainsbury’s, so long ago. The original article and results can be found here.
Thanks to Spelding (the original) for once again coming up with this information.
So how is our High Street (or
maybe it should now be referred to as the main retail area) and what changes
have happened in the intervening years? Firstly,
the usual disclaimer, it has to be stressed that this is not a scientific
study, merely a snapshot of a point in time with some vague categories in which
to try and establish some sort of base.
The area, or in modern parlance,
the footprint of this latest snapshot has been extended to include down to the
Harbour and out to Sainsbury’s (no businesses within the Industrial estate or
business park are included for this review), which gives approximately 137
premises. An additional premise was
added to the High Street when the Royal Bengal was split in two with Moshi’s
cafe now occupying the other half. Two
premises have disappeared altogether: the old Arcade in Harbour Street which
has been demolished and has planning permission for flats and the Garage by the
Co-op which has been demolished and converted into car parking.
Although some of the figures
appear to be the same there have been many changes. The majority of businesses are independently
run and there are 15 multinationals.
In the previous review there were
9 empty properties: the Ballerina, Bike shop (by Clarks the Butchers), Bookies
(by Images), Bridal shop (by Post Office), the Chip Inn, Co-op garage, NCFC
Social Club, the Regal, Woolies. 5 of
these have since been re-occupied and at the moment there are currently 8 empty
properties, these are: the Ballerina, Barron House, Highland Foodstop (by Post
Office), Images, Latino (Harbour st), NCFC Social Club, the Regal, Yorkshire
Building Society/Scottish Highland Property services.
New business which have opened during
the last 3 years include: ACDC Computers, the Antiques shop, Big Bloomers,
Blossom tearoom, Candy Cabin, Co-op, Foot Health Clinic, Gelous Nails, Highland
Deli, Ken’s Taxi’s Lilly’s tearoom, Moshi’s cafe, Nairn Building &
Maintenance, Nairn Laundry, Nairn Model shop, Nairn Scenic Properties, Nickel
& Dime, North Star Imports, Paper Bird, Partay, Sainsbury’s, The Whyte
Business which disappeared or
relocated outwith the area: Baby Talk, CanDo Cleaners, Epicurus, Haddows off
licence, Highland Foodstop Metro, Images, Nairn Property Services Remax, Scotscoup
bookies, Somerfields, Stephen Seedhouse Flowers, Victoria’s teashop, Victoria
Wine, Volunteer office, Yorkshire Building Society/Scottish Highland Property
At least 2 properties will be
closing down within the next few months: Concept Gifts and Ross Outdoors. One other property, Burnett & Forbes is
currently displaying a To Let sign.
On the face of it, the opening of
Sainsbury’s has not lead to the anticipated Armageddon of the High street,
however, now is not the time to be complacent as, coupled with the fallout of
the financial storm which has been raging for the past few years, there may yet
be many bumps in the road to come. Who
knows what 2013 will hold for Nairn retailers, will the comparative healthy
state continue or will there be some casualties toppling over the retail cliff? The next 365+ days will be interesting.
See the totals of different kinds of premises in a pie chart here
or click the read more tab to see a list of the latest figures.