Use It Or Lose It Warning Over Hugh Town Shops

hugh town centre shopsA St Mary’s businesswoman is urging islanders to use local shops or risk losing a vital community service.

Julia Day, who owns Islands’ Home Hardware, says the community can’t afford to see any more shops close.

She says when she first arrived in Scilly there were two electrical retailers, a shoe shop and two butchers.

Julia regrets how the market has contracted and doesn’t want to see it decreasing any further.

If the remaining shops go, she says, life will be very difficult.

Many online retailers are expecting big sales today as a number of global brands have adopted the American concept of ‘Black Friday,’ where prices are cut the day after their Thanksgiving.

It’s now being heavily promoted here.

Julia says islands businesses have always faced competition from mail order businesses. That used to be the old paper catalogues like Littlewoods, but it’s become a bigger threat with the growth on online sales, especially for groceries.



8 Responses to Use It Or Lose It Warning Over Hugh Town Shops

  1. Pensioner December 3, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    Richard Smith makes comparisons with Mainland living and parking . I would make the point that I do not live on the Mainland .I chose to live on an island with a population of approximately 1500 people and looked for some advantages to outweigh the disadvantages.

  2. Richard Smith December 3, 2014 at 12:21 am

    Had a thought this afternoon, on the mainland we (you, me, the cats mother) would think nothing of driving to a retail park and then walk for 3 or 4 minutes to a shop at the other end of the car park. The perception of having got there in the car overrides the fact that we still have to walk further to the shops in Hugh Town if we’d parked up by the church or live in that vicinity. How many Coops or any shop for that matter can you expect to park right outside it to go inside on the mainland?

    • David December 3, 2014 at 11:19 am

      This is true, but it’s amazing how many people will drive round and round at said retail parks looking for a space close to the shop(s), rather than parking an extra 50-200 metres away

  3. st agnes resident November 30, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    A big yes to shopping locally. I’d just like to say how fantastic our local shop on St. Agnes is – stocks a wide range of everything and they will order you things in as well. We are also blessed with fab dairy, meat and veg from local farms. I certainly have no need to even venture to St Mary’s to the co-op.

  4. Adam Morton,St.Martins November 30, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    A reason mail order is preferable in many cases is because Royal mail is obliged to provide service at the same cost here as anywhere else (as reported on an earlier story),which means the customer can import it often cheaper than a wholesaler using ordinary freight costs. Many mail order firms not using RM simply will not ship to Scilly unless you organize transport from PZ onward. As I repeatedly point out, this is the predicament facing nearly every volume trader and prevents them competing on anything like level terms. When the mail can make it through ,you can often order exactly what you want and have it here in less than 24 hrs which is often quicker than you can get stuff up from St.Marys. The only strength a local store has is convenience V higher cost,poorer choice, and slower delivery! Perhaps online ordering would help local shops too though, many people simply don’t have the time to waste working hours on shopping.
    Scilly has a tiny local market &heavily geared to the tourist & souvenir trade.

  5. RogerP November 30, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    Now that it is almost impossible to park close to the shops it is so much easier to sit at home place your order and receive it within 24-48 hours. I guess more people will also be ordering their grocieries on line for the same reasons.

    • Richard Smith November 30, 2014 at 10:03 pm

      Unless you need a blue badge which would let you park on Hugh Street and still be in the way then you are capable of parking 2 minutes away from the shops and walking. Being on Scilly makes people lazy, when I was on the mainland I used to walk 30 mins to the nearest pub without a thought, now I Baulk at the thought of an away game of darts at old town which is nearer. For the people who can’t be arsed to walk 2 mins with their shopping the Co Op deliver, as does Islands Home Hardware

  6. Simon November 30, 2014 at 9:26 am

    I quite agree with Julia’s comments about use it or lose it. However, I was looking for an item in the DIY shop and it wasn’t in stock, it was possibly going to be in next week at some stage. I looked on Amazon, it was 2/3 of the price and I could have got it the next day. As it happens I did order it through the DIY shop as I wasn’t in a hurry but more importantly wanted to support the local shop. I don’t think any shops will compete with Amazon but we need more realistic prices on Scilly which inevitably comes down to transport costs and reliable service from the mainland.