Worksheet EC5: Retail and town centre services Input provided by Leader of Chamber of Commerce

Sub-section: Retail shops and services Edit

Input provided by Leader of Chamber of Commerce

Q 1 Look at the businesses in the town

a.What proportion is retail, and how many people do they employ?

b.What proportion provides consumer services, and how many people do they employ?

(Worksheets S1 Q4 also refers to employment. Worksheets S7; T2 Q12; T3 Q16 also refer to the retail and service sector)

a)39 “High Street” Shops account for 38% of Businesses – 183 employees

b)55 Other Services Businesses: 62% but these are increasingly Restaurants; Coffee Shops & Pubs (24 -28%), Estate Agents, Hairdressers, Taxi firms, Banks, Financial Advisers, Solicitors: 506 employees

c)Overall there are 593 businesses in the MAP area, of which 254 are in West Malling parish.

Q 2 How many shops in total are there?

a.What is the total floor space

in the town centre

in out-of-town centres

in the villages?

(Worksheets S7; T2 Q12; T3 Q16 also refer to the retail and service sector)

39 “High Street” shops in West Malling

Kings Hill; Larkfield & Leybourne have Small Shopping Precincts

Metro Markets (2) & Supermarkets (3) exist close by

Major Shopping Malls at Blue Water and Lakeside are not far away ½ hr driving time

Q 3. What type of shops and services are there in the town centre and surrounding villages?

a.List them by numbers and percentages of each type. An example might be: Banks, 6, 12%

Other shops and services may include chemists/pharmacies; butchers; charities, antique shops; clothes stores; shoe shops; bakers; grocers; supermarkets; hardware stores; general stores; solicitors; accountants; garages; pubs; cafés; dentists; doctors/medical/care - and so on; add to the list as appropriate.,

b.Identify any particular shops and services that attract visitors and shoppers from outside the town. Include any shops and services which have branches in other areas or towns.


Q 4. How many charity shops are there? (Charity shops pay lower rates and rentals.)

(Worksheets S6 Q6; S7 Q5 also refer to the voluntary sector)

2 Charity Shops only Hospice and Mind: 4%

Q 5. Has retail floor space in the town centre been lost in the last five years?

If so, by how much?

Look at historical data on retail and commercial floor space in the town centre and compare it with any out-of-town developments.

Retail space has been lost (5 shops in last 3 years). When a retail shop has shut, if it is a large premises it becomes an estate agent or restaurant

Q 6. Retailers register their interest for additional floor space.

What are the anticipated retail floor space requirements in the future based on this?

Retail space is limited, to expand, move to larger premises or move to include the first floor.

Small shops turn into estate agents and restaurants; it is becoming a café and restaurant town.

The night time economy and estate agents can afford the high rents, rates and business costs,

Q 7. How many shops are vacant in the town centre and how many have been vacant for more than two years?

If there seem to be a large number compared with the regional and national vacancy rates, find out why the vacant shops are not being reopened.

There are no shops that have been vacant for more than 2 years

Q 8 How many new shops in the centre have opened in the last three years?

How many shops have had major refits in the last three years?

a)5 shops have changed hands in the last in the last 3 years , the Bakers changed to Estate Agents, Antique Shop to Restaurant,

b)Refits mainly on ownership change

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