Stead and Simpson has announced that its Broad Street store will close in November, raising the tally of closed or closing units in the town centre to 11.
Boarded-up windows and empty store fronts now greet visitors to Fraserburgh, which has led to residents commenting on ways in which things could be improved via the Fraserburgh Herald’s Facebook page.
Craig Roger posted: “People have to spend money in the town first, how many of us go to Aberdeen for everything? Most I suspect. We cannot expect a town full of shops if we continue to give our money to other towns and cities.”
He added: “Local retailers can’t compare on price but on expertise on product and customer service they should wipe the board with large faceless retailers.
“Unfortunately customer service seems to be a bad word in Fraserburgh, dine out or walk through the clouds of smoke being made by shop staff at doorways or even try getting looked at by staff as they hold their hand out for money while talking to their colleague. Am afraid until owners and staff alike pick up their game the town will continue to decline.”
“Look no further than Tesco. Free parking close to the shop, opening hours to suit the consumer, products people want to buy, constant review of practices, dedicated staff .... It’s not rocket science it’s total lack of leadership by the town management,” said Jason H. Nicol.
Martin Stephen said: “The biggest problem in this town is we are limited in big businesses, ok we have Gray and Adams and some fishing based companies in the town but with oil company’s based in the Aberdeen area and more and more folk going into this industry it means either people are moving from the area or commuting each day. It’s like a ghost town most days so it’s understandable that businesses are struggling, there is almost nothing to do in this town be it recreational or consumer.”
Jane Stephen asked: “Are the rates too high maybe? I don’t know but I do still try to shop local if I can...”
“I am totally guilty of not shopping locally, I would rather go to Aberdeen and shop. The Broch town centre is full of unsavouries, there is a lack of decent shops and the attitudes of some shop staff put me off.
“Until these things change I will use Tesco as always, the internet and other local town centres who seem to still thrive. I am however looking forward to the new cake shop opening on High Street,” said Jaclyn Muirhead.
Former resident Glen Alexander added his thoughts to the debate, saying: “I moved out of the broch some three or four years ago and there was quite a few shops then...i come back from time to time to see my folks and now it looks like a ghost town with shops everywhere empty! What it needs is a meeting or a poll to all residents to ask what shops they would like to have in the town...then council to provide free rent/rates on all new businesses starting up for the first six months.”