Retail Comings and Goings in Tameside: September 2014

Recent changes to the borough’s retail offerings

The Ladysmith Centre, Ashton-under-Lyne
A general view of The Ladysmith Centre, photographed on a quiet Sunday in February 2013.
  • Return of the Ashton Christmas Market;
  • Stalybridge health shop closure;
  • Last link with Ashton-under-Lyne Cooperative Society ended;
  • Ashton and Denton affected by Phones4U liquidation.

With one quarter of the financial year over comes the latest rent reviews. The recent summer plus fear, uncertainty and doubt over The Great EU Vacuum Cleaner Panic seen in the mid-market newspapers, may have been a fillup for the economy. Closer to home, the last month has brought mixed news for our borough’s shoppers.

Open markets set agenda

Within the space of a week, we found out about the refurbishment of Ashton-under-Lyne’s open market. Following consultation, Ashton’s open market will be moved closer to the market hall with permanent outdoor stalls from Bow Street up to the entrance of the Ladysmith Centre. Its roundabouts will be moved nearer to the Arcades Shopping Centre entrance. The mayoral car park off Wellington Road will also be landscaped with an open area facing the town hall for temporary stalls and live outdoor events.

Remaining on this subject, the Ashton-under-Lyne Christmas Market is set to return this year. In cooperation with New Image (whom to most Stalybridge Celtic AFC supporting readers have published the Bower Bulletin since 1981), there will be the usual mix of live acts, wooden stalls and the real ale bar. This year’s event will be given another week on last year’s duration.

Stalybridge comings and goings

We’ll be sad to see the loss of Harwick’s Health Store on 5 Corporation Street, Stalybridge. In spite of local support, it wasn’t getting the footfall which proprietor Sharon Harwick required. All shop fittings as well as remaining items is up for sale. Of late, a secondhand shop known as ‘The Past’ has opened next to Gino’s Hair Design. The neighbouring Top End Bar Two has changed hands and has become a LGBT bar known as ‘The Handbag’.

Not quite at the Co-op

With the fortunes of The Cooperative’s banking arm much publicised in the local and national media, The Cooperative have had to make some cuts to its property portfolio owing to financial issues caused by its attempt to acquire part of Lloyds TSB. Its chemists have been sold to the cash and carry firm Bestway with the transaction due to be completed next month. What remains of the much reduced, though substantial concern is its travel agents, funeral services and convenience stores.

On the 14 September, we saw the end of a link with the Ashton-under-Lyne Cooperative Society. The Cooperative’s Hurst store on Kings Road closed its doors as a Co-op ending Hurst’s involvement with the Cooperative Movement. For a brief period, Hurst had two Co-ops within five minutes walk of each other: the other one, opened in 1998 as a Co-op Food Market before becoming today’s ASDA Supermarket. The older one continued as a Late Shop.

Lately a number of its under-performing stores have been sold to other concerns. Recently, The Cooperative’s Greenfield store on Chew Valley Road has become a Premier off-licence. However, it will remain open as a convenience store, under the aegis of York based chain Costcutter. At present, The Cooperative’s remaining stores in Tameside are in Dukinfield (Astley Street and Fir Tree Lane), Haughton Green, Mossley and Newton.

No more iPhone8s for you

In the last week, Phones 4U has gone into administration affecting the borough’s Ashton-under-Lyne and Denton branches. After the loss of EE’s contract, the company’s stores are closed pending the administrators’ decision.

Other comings and goings (some of which probably not so recent – corrections and additions appreciated as always):

Comings:

  • That’s Entertainment: Arcades Shopping Centre; former HMV store, ground floor;
  • Bake and Take: Mercian Way/Staveleigh Way, Ladysmith Shopping Centre; former Wrights Café Central/Timpsons unit;
  • Local Shopper: Wellington Road, former Irish National Institute Club opposite the Prince of Orange public house.

Goings:

  • Cheshire Building Society: Warrington Street, Ashton-under-Lyne: move to Nationwide Building Society branch on Old Street after acquisition;
  • R. Bowker Bakers and Confectioners: Penny Meadow, Ashton-under-Lyne: closure due to retirement (further details here);
  • The Old Fleece: Market Street, Stalybridge: public house and B&B for sale, non-trading at present.

S.V., 18 September 2014.

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