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 House
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 services.
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.Banks/Finance/Insurance/
EstateAgents/Solicitors/Offices/Local Govt 18
Bars/Off Licences 8
Charity Shops 3
Clothes Shops 6
Flower Shops 2
Food shops (not supermarkets) 4
Fruit Shops 1
Gift Shops 11
Hairdressers/Barbers/Beauty/Health shops/Physio 15
Other: Various ie, Tattoist, Taxi's,
Furniture & Carpet, Funeral Directors etc 18
Paper Shops 2
Pet Shops/Services 4