On Tuesday 24th March the proposals to demolish independent retailers on Devonshire Street in Sheffield were approved, despite 20,000 people having signed a petition against the plans… the largest outcry ever recorded by city planners.
Adam Murray, director of Coda Planning, which submitted the application, said: "The simple truth is that these buildings are in a state of disrepair. This means that if no action had been taken then in the longer term the buildings would not be able to be occupied and would have become a serious blight to the area."
The public’s outcry in support of the three main retailers; Rare & Racy, Syd & Mallory and the Natural Bed Company, effected by the plans is testament to people’s desire to experience and support independent retailers.
So what happens next for the retailers effected by the plans’ approval?
Syd and Mallory, an independent fashion boutique have been enjoying online sales success and have recently opened an ASOS Marketplace boutique while neighbours the Natural Bed Company already have plans to relocate to larger premises.
Peter Bennion, of the Natural Bed Company said, “The one positive aspect is that we are now able to look for larger premises to be able to show more of our range of solid wood beds.”
A strong brand identity and loyal customer base will no doubt provide the foundation for the future of these businesses wherever they move to next and here at The GBE we wish them the best of luck with their next ventures.