The shops thread (was: Empty Shops on Porty High St)

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The shops thread (was: Empty Shops on Porty High St)

Postby Jamesie » 22 Nov 2006, 19:34

Standing at the bus stop this morning I noticed two shops now empty and up for sale/let - Global Video and the travel agents (Thomas Cook?), within 200 metres of each other.

To me this is symptomatic of changing times and the internet - travel agents losing business due to the advent of online budget airlines and DIY holiday makers, while amazon and the like offering DVD rental services at a fraction of the price of one rental from a high street store.

A sign of the times, but how do we address this and prevent an empty high street? Do we succumb to charity shops and 99p stores en mass, or is there another option?
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Re: Empty Shops on Porty High St

Postby Poppy » 22 Nov 2006, 20:14

Jamesie wrote:Standing at the bus stop this morning I noticed two shops now empty and up for sale/let - Global Video and the travel agents (Thomas Cook?), within 200 metres of each other.

To me this is symptomatic of changing times and the internet - travel agents losing business due to the advent of online budget airlines and DIY holiday makers, while amazon and the like offering DVD rental services at a fraction of the price of one rental from a high street store.

A sign of the times, but how do we address this and prevent an empty high street? Do we succumb to charity shops and 99p stores en mass, or is there another option?


On the other hand a number of new establishments have opened or are about to open - Cheque shop instead of Munros, Dr Ying's Chinese Herbalist instead of the therapy shop next to the Shamanic Centre, Red a 'family eating experience coming soon' where Datta was, Eleanor Robertson's old shop is being done up, part of the DG photo place has been leased, a shop selling Chinese stuff is where the Pregnancy Care shop was... so perhaps all is not lost!
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Re: Empty Shops on Porty High St

Postby Sandra » 22 Nov 2006, 22:12

Jamesie wrote:Standing at the bus stop this morning I noticed two shops now empty and up for sale/let - Global Video and the travel agents (Thomas Cook?), within 200 metres of each other.



The Video shop has been empty for years!
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Re: Empty Shops on Porty High St

Postby Sandra » 22 Nov 2006, 22:14

Poppy wrote:Red a 'family eating experience coming soon' where Datta was,


Datta was........... Select actually :roll:
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Re: Empty Shops on Porty High St

Postby Poppy » 22 Nov 2006, 22:36

Sandra wrote:
Poppy wrote:Red a 'family eating experience coming soon' where Datta was,


Datta was........... Select actually :roll:


So it was! The new restaurant is where the Seaview was!
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Postby Pal of Porty » 22 Nov 2006, 22:39

The travel agent shop is empty because Sibbalds is now Lun Poly and I guess there was no need to have two Lun Poly's in a place the size of Portobello, so one of the premises had to close.

Global Video was a national player that went belly up, so not really a sympton of Porty in itself but more likely a victim of cheap accessability of DVD's and things like Sky movies.

I too hope that some exciting new businesses will move into the vacant premises. There is a new takeaway opening soon next to the takeaway next to the Launderette, an Antique shop opening at the top of Bellfield Street and possibly a 'metro' style supermarket in the Red Giant next year.
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Postby Poppy » 22 Nov 2006, 22:44

exciting new businesses ...possibly a 'metro' style supermarket in the Red Giant next year.


Can't say that that that will be 'exciting' in a positive good for Portobello way - esp as it will probably put Joppa Stores and Julia's Newsagent out of business so we might lose one empty shop and get two. Julia and her husband have been working hard to stock quality chocs, organic stuff, etc.

Edit: Forgot about effect on Gordon's the butcher and even Kidds the Chemist re toiletries.
Last edited by Poppy on 23 Nov 2006, 10:45, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby teddygirl » 22 Nov 2006, 22:54

Have to agree with you there, Poppy, the newsagent is looking really nice and stocking some quality goods. I too heard the rumour yet again that the Red Giant was possibly going to be a Tesco Express but don't know where it originated this time.
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Postby bellybabe » 22 Nov 2006, 23:15

Pal of Porty wrote:The travel agent shop is empty because Sibbalds is now Lun Poly and I guess there was no need to have two Lun Poly's in a place the size of Portobello, so one of the premises had to close.



I think you might find they both became thomsons... Lunn Poly disappeared.
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Postby Pal of Porty » 22 Nov 2006, 23:39

Bellybabe wrote: I think you might find they both became thomsons... Lunn Poly disappeared.

That's right - Thomson's bought them! 8)
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Re: Empty Shops on Porty High St

Postby Jamesie » 22 Nov 2006, 23:52

Poppy wrote:Cheque shop instead of Munros


Is this the kind of business which benefits Portobello? I'm dubious.
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Re: Empty Shops on Porty High St

Postby Poppy » 23 Nov 2006, 09:26

Jamesie wrote:
Poppy wrote:Cheque shop instead of Munros


Is this the kind of business which benefits Portobello? I'm dubious.


I know what you mean, but as you say: what's worse, empty shops or shops we don't like??!! But there is, I assume, a need/market for it?

PS The Chinese one is actually in the shop next to the old Pregnancy Care (used to sell secondhand furniture). And there is now a Tanning Shop on the corner of Adelphi Grove where JP or JB Builders etc was and opposite on the corner of Figgate Street there is now a Podiatrist but I cannot recall what was there before.
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Postby Poppy » 23 Nov 2006, 10:47

teddygirl wrote:Have to agree with you there, Poppy, the newsagent is looking really nice and stocking some quality goods


Got some very nice "posh" French wine in, I noticed this morning.
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Re: Empty Shops on Porty High St

Postby wangi » 23 Nov 2006, 11:02

Poppy wrote:there is now a Podiatrist but I cannot recall what was there before.

It was a mortgage sorta place.
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Re: Empty Shops on Porty High St

Postby ali » 23 Nov 2006, 11:40

Poppy wrote:
what's worse, empty shops or shops we don't like??!! But there is, I assume, a need/market for it?



There was a local need/market for a superstore but it was ignored or discounted by a group of self-interested, selfish local business people who think they have some sort of a right to protection from the market. Their campaign ignored the needs of pensioners, poor families with young children and the disabled.

The large proportion of Portobello's poor or elderly residents who's needs were not considered by the PCATS campaign were left to continue shopping in that local madhouse called Scotmid or had to struggle on and off public transport in order to get to Asda or Morrisons.

Personally, I can't wait for a Tesco Metro to open.
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Re: Empty Shops on Porty High St

Postby Sandra » 23 Nov 2006, 11:45

ali wrote:
Poppy wrote:
what's worse, empty shops or shops we don't like??!! But there is, I assume, a need/market for it?



There was a local need/market for a superstore but it was ignored or discounted by a group of self-interested, selfish local business people who think they have some sort of a right to protection from the market. Their campaign ignored the needs of pensioners, poor families with young children and the disabled.

The large proportion of Portobello's poor or elderly residents who's needs were not considered by the PCATS campaign were left to continue shopping in that local madhouse called Scotmid or had to struggle on and off public transport in order to get to Asda or Morrisons.

Personally, I can't wait for a Tesco Metro to open.


Well said Ali =D>

Im with you on the Tesco Metro. Though I wouldn't use it all the time, it would be handy some of the time, especially for non car owners like myself. I agree, Scotmid it a total disaster area and a madhouse.
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Postby impossiblevoices » 23 Nov 2006, 21:59

I agree.

Can't wait for Tesco to open a Metro store in Porty. The Red Giant has been an empty eyesore for YEARS! If local business people and or residents had wanted something else in its place, they have had ample time to do something about it.

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Re: Empty Shops on Porty High St

Postby Jamesie » 23 Nov 2006, 22:10

Sandra wrote: I agree, Scotmid it a total disaster area and a madhouse.


The founders of the co-operative society would turn in their graves if they caught sight of our local Scotmid.
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Re: Empty Shops on Porty High St

Postby Porty » 23 Nov 2006, 22:53

Jamesie wrote:
Sandra wrote: I agree, Scotmid it a total disaster area and a madhouse.


The founders of the co-operative society would turn in their graves if they caught sight of our local Scotmid.


Perhaps. Do you think they got staff discount on their funerals?

I believe the Co-Op bury or cremate a huge percentage of UK people, after they die. Can't say I've been to Co-Op funeral, I wonder if many of the characteristics and features are the same as the store?

Do they have completley unexpected impulse purchase items on display in the hearse? Like TV/DVD combo's or Garden Sets.

Many of the shop staff have the ideal demeanour for undertaker duty and the piped music would transfer well too.

I hope ASDA don't start going after market share, can you imagine the bereaved family members catching each other eyes during the service and patting their pockets with a self-satisfied money saving smile?
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Re: Empty Shops on Porty High St

Postby Bob Jefferson » 23 Nov 2006, 22:57

Porty wrote:I believe the Co-Op bury or cremate a huge percentage of UK people, after they die.


No less than 100% I would hope. :shock:
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Postby arachnid » 23 Nov 2006, 22:57

Tesco Metro's not as good as you think it might be!! :wink:
We have one in Linlithgow and it's hopeless!
Seen us buying something that we like one week, and when we try to get it the next week, it's dissapeared from the shelves never to be seen again!! :cry: Couldn't even get brussel sprouts last Christmas!!! :roll:
Tried to get Bero flour to make the ol' Christmas cake a couple of weeks ago ( I always use Bero. Why change the habit of a lifetime!!! :wink: ), they didn't have a single packet!!! :cry: So went to the South Queensferry store which is much bigger and better where we can get almost everything we need. :lol
Why be scared????
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Re: Empty Shops on Porty High St

Postby Porty » 23 Nov 2006, 23:03

Bob Jefferson wrote:
Porty wrote:I believe the Co-Op bury or cremate a huge percentage of UK people, after they die.


No less than 100% I would hope. :shock:


I assure you it wasn't an error. :lol:
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Postby Novastar » 24 Nov 2006, 01:02

Tesco Metro is generally pretty good. The small one near me is a 2 minutes walking distance and houses most things I need for a quick meal or at 8am on a Sunday morning. Much more likely to find what I want then in the huge Scotmid across the road which forever seems to have 30000 tins of baked beans and no bread or milk.

Have to say (very sorry Kiwi and any other Scotmid people who may be listeing) the only good Scotmid I've been to is the one in the middle of Leith Walk which is 24/7. Can go in at 4am when you're hungry and get some food. Much nicer than a kebab. mind you I haven't visited Porty's wonderful establishment yet.
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Postby Porty » 24 Nov 2006, 01:27

Novastar wrote:
Have to say (very sorry Kiwi and any other Scotmid people who may be listeing) the only good Scotmid I've been to is the one in the middle of Leith Walk which is 24/7. Can go in at 4am when you're hungry and get some food. .
Do you think that scotmid is comparitively better because it is pressured by competitors?
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Postby Novastar » 24 Nov 2006, 03:20

Errrr Not with you there Porty.

Surely Scotmid are no more pressured then any other supermarket. Tesco's is pressured by Sainsburys who're pressured by Waitrose who're pressured by Morrison's who're pressured by Tesco's. Maybe Scotmid a little because they are smaller, but tough, it's there job to find a marketable commodity (my GCSE business studies talking there :wink: )that means people go there instead of Tesco's, Waitrose, etc.

That might be opening 24/7, stocking milk on a Sunday morning, stocking cheap bread at ANY time, stock Scottish foods, not having 15 crates of random foods and zip all else.

Any shop must accept competition and find a way round it. Our local butchers (back home in Yorkshire - not Leith) survives dispite there being a far cheap Morrison's 5 minutes down the road. The reason why - better quality, more products (rabbit anyone), more cuts of meat (exactly what you want) and a feeling that he is selling you something special rather than just another block of crud from out the back.

All IMHO you understand.

Probably went off the track a bit there (Porty was probably expecting a 2 word answer) but it's late and I'm ranting (staying up till 5am watching Thanksgiving Day American Football - Happy Thanksgiving Day to all by the way)
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Postby ali » 24 Nov 2006, 08:20

Novastar wrote: Our local butchers (back home in Yorkshire - not Leith) survives dispite there being a far cheap Morrison's 5 minutes down the road.



....but poor picked on victim Joe Finlay, TV Star and Master Butcher of Portobello had so little faith in his "premium" produce that he took to haranguing and scowling at customers who declined to sign his in-shop petition against the superstore.
I was there and I saw it happen.
I can only think that he was scared that people would not be able to spot the difference between his own prime mince, personally extracted by Joe from pedigree Highland Coo's, and Tesco's everyday budget poor people's mince. Such a lack of faith in his own customer's taste. 8)
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Postby Porty » 24 Nov 2006, 12:01

Novastar wrote: Errrr Not with you there Porty.

Surely Scotmid are no more pressured then any other supermarket. Tesco's is pressured by Sainsburys who're pressured by Waitrose who're pressured by Morrison's who're pressured by Tesco's. Maybe Scotmid a little because they are smaller, but tough, it's there job to find a marketable commodity (my GCSE business studies talking there :wink: )that means people go there instead of Tesco's, Waitrose, etc.

That might be opening 24/7, stocking milk on a Sunday morning, stocking cheap bread at ANY time, stock Scottish foods, not having 15 crates of random foods and zip all else.

Any shop must accept competition and find a way round it. Our local butchers (back home in Yorkshire - not Leith) survives dispite there being a far cheap Morrison's 5 minutes down the road. The reason why - better quality, more products (rabbit anyone), more cuts of meat (exactly what you want) and a feeling that he is selling you something special rather than just another block of crud from out the back.

All IMHO you understand.

Probably went off the track a bit there (Porty was probably expecting a 2 word answer) )
Not at all. I totalyy agree with everything you say. The question that I was trying to ask related to the specific scotmid store in leith walk. I'm doiing this from memory but does that store have a Tesco Metro and some others in the immediate vicinity, therefore competition is close by and there act is a bit better?


Novastar wrote: but it's late and I'm ranting (staying up till 5am watching Thanksgiving Day American Football - Happy Thanksgiving Day to all by the way)
Redskins V Cowboys? Who won and how is the season going, I haven't been folowing it.
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Postby Sandra » 24 Nov 2006, 13:05

I was in Bruntsfield this morning and it has such a great mix of interesting shops - why can't Portobello get some of the same? It would be great.

Though in saying that I love La Vie en Rose - really nice different shop and the owner very helpful and friendly, and the new Kitcheners of course - good website and interesting Christmas hampers, (hint hint BC) :lol:
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Re: Empty Shops on Porty High St

Postby Gedge » 24 Nov 2006, 13:38

Although I'm against the building of the superstore, as a non car-owner I sympathise completely Ali. I have to break my bus journey and carry stuff home. And on the occasions I do go I find myself gazing wide eyed in wonder at the variety of stuff on the shelves in a real supermarket. Also the prices are extortionate in Scotmid compared to the big supermarkets.
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Postby Pal of Porty » 24 Nov 2006, 14:18

Sandra wrote:I was in Bruntsfield this morning and it has such a great mix of interesting shops - why can't Portobello get some of the same? It would be great.:lol:

I could not agree a more. :lol:
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Postby Poppy » 24 Nov 2006, 19:03

Pal of Porty wrote:
Sandra wrote:I was in Bruntsfield this morning and it has such a great mix of interesting shops - why can't Portobello get some of the same? It would be great.:lol:

I could not agree a more. :lol:


I agree too, but there is a big difference in the demographics of Bruntsfield and here - e.g. more people at Bruntsfield as so many tenements and a bigger catchment area, I would think - the sea kinda reduces Portobello's!!
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New Business Opportunities

Postby aileenandfearghal » 24 Nov 2006, 19:17

This is an interesting line of discussion, as I spent the other day looking into the possibilities of taking over one of the empty shops on the High street for a business idea I'm considering.

The old Lifeline Pregnancy Care shop was one that looked a good size - but no sign up on it! Does anyone know who it belongs to or what intentions there are for it?

Also interesting to hear that Global Video has been shut for a long time - another one I could find no information on on the agents website. I will look into it more, perhaps the council has incentive to take on places that have been empty for a while - they certainly should have!!

I think that Porty could really sell itself as a nice place to come and shop for nice, different things, all the unique businesses just need to believe in themselves and work together.
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Postby Poppy » 24 Nov 2006, 19:38

interesting to hear that Global Video has been shut for a long time


Sandra might been overstating that one! I joined 2 1/2 years ago (but never used it!) and it was a good while after that that it closed!

As for the Preggers shop - they are now just across the road so should be able to tell you who their landlord used to be?

Good luck!!
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Re: New Business Opportunities

Postby Porty » 24 Nov 2006, 19:44

aileenandfearghal wrote:


Also interesting to hear that Global Video has been shut for a long time - another one I could find no information on on the agents website. .

Its next door to us and the agent changed recently so that maybe why you couldn't locate info. Think it may be Graham and Sibbald now, it was culverwell I think.
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Postby Novastar » 24 Nov 2006, 21:05

Porty wrote:Not at all. I totalyy agree with everything you say. The question that I was trying to ask related to the specific scotmid store in leith walk. I'm doiing this from memory but does that store have a Tesco Metro and some others in the immediate vicinity, therefore competition is close by and there act is a bit better?


Novastar wrote: but it's late and I'm ranting (staying up till 5am watching Thanksgiving Day American Football - Happy Thanksgiving Day to all by the way)
Redskins V Cowboys? Who won and how is the season going, I haven't been folowing it.


Got you. Yes Scotmid (the big one) is at the foot of Leith Walk, there is a 24/7 one half way up and another one on the opposite side next to Pilrig Street. Have to say I'm amazed how the 9-5 one next to Pilrig is still open with a Tesco's metro practically opposite, loads of small shops around and another Scotmid 2 minutes down the road. Only thing I can think of is that they do have some things like bread and milk (unlike the huge one at the Foot) but still amazed it's still open.

The big one is probably still open for the people who can't be bothered to walk the 20 minutes to Broughton Tesco's. Have to say for the price and variety I'm happier to walk to the big Tesco's or use Tesco Metro on Great Junction Street or smaller shops for day to day stuff. Most of these shops also have a habbit of having products you actually want on the shelves. I have suspecisions that Leith is a bit too heavily populated with supermarkets at the moment and either one or two are going to shut or a lot of the smaller shops are(and judging by their business I think supermarkets are more likely).

With football - Dallas beat Tampa 30 something to 10. Dallas are probably going to win their division and look one of the best teams in the NFC at the moment - too many injuries on other teams. AFC's looking very strong thoough. Reckon it will probably by a Indy Colts/Chicago Bears Superbowl.
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