Why does Stockton have so many empty shops? BBC1 tonight at 7.30 might have some answers…

Graham Soult

Retail consultant, writer, blogger; helping retailers via CannyInsights.com and CannySites.com. Say hello on Twitter at @soult!

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10 Responses

  1. Richard says:

    Great piece on Stockton and Hartlepool. Both used to be really good shopping centres.

  2. Retrogadget says:

    Interesting reading, although my home town is Ashby de la Zouch in the Midlands. I (and my wife) have a fondness for the Redcar/ Teesside region and always aim to visit at least once a year, although we’ve been unable to do so this year due to a family illness. I’m a rare breed of man – one who loves shopping and have several ports of call when in the region. Apart from Redcar, where we first discovered Home Bargains, Middlesbrough, Guisborough and Darlington are definite places to call into. Been into Stockton a couple of times also. Like you I like its wide main street – Ashby is similar, although on a smaller scale as you may have noticed on your flying visit. Find Stockton’s a bit spread out though with ‘gaps’ between the shopping areas.
    On our visit last year though my biggest disappointment was a trip to Hartlepool, on reading on a website that Hartlepool possessed one of the biggest shopping centres in the North-East, we set off for Middleton Grange. We found it to be one the most bland, depressing shopping centres we’ve ever been to. We were barely there a hour before we left – sorry Hartlepool, love your historic Quay development but not your shopping centre.
    Last year we also ventured into Stanley – only because of the presence of one of the three Argos owned Clearance Bargains stores – the other two are down my end of the country at Corby and Walsall. Had a quick scout around the main street in Stanley before calling in to Chester Le Street on the way back.
    Boyes is a store we ‘discovered’ in Teesside, always return home with at least a couple of bargains -usually with a plug on!- from Boyes. Darlington,Guisborough being my favourite branches. Boyes have opened a store in Leics. recently, at Melton Mowbray.
    A stop off on the way home is the town of Northallerton -in my mind the jewel in the crown of North Yorkshire. Again, another wide main street with a good variety of independent stores -Maxwells elctrical a good example, a good market plus the usual chain stores.
    Like Ripon, plus Harrogate too but there are only so many places the wife will let me call into!
    Hope my observations of the North-East have been of some interest to you.

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