Shoppers have say on new retail study

The Four Seasons
The Four Seasons

MANSFIELD shoppers have had their say on a new study which says the town is performing better than its rival retail centres.

Chad revealed last week that research by private consultants had found the town is attracting good footfall figures and encouraging people to do their shopping locally.

The report, commissioned by Mansfield District Council, says the town is doing better than similar sized centres like Newark and Chesterfield.

But the study offered a mixed picture, also suggesting the Four Seasons Shopping Centre was in need of a refurbishment.

The owners of the centre, PPG, welcomed the report and said they will be discussing its recommendations with the council.

Irvin Robinson, chairman of the Mansfield 2020 business network, agreed on the need for a revamp at the Four Seasons and said it was important to continue modernising and improving the appearance of the town now the new bus station is on its way.

“We can’t do these things in isolation,” he said. “We have the new transport interchange being built and a renovation of the library but we need to keep this momentum going.

“We have a lot of potential, as the study says, but need to keep it moving forward.”

The report calls for the town to attract higher end department stores such as House of Fraser, and fashion chains like Monsoon, Zara and H&M.

But it also says niche and independent shops should be encouraged to find a home in the town.

Leon Smith is joint owner of Xibit Jewellery, on Market Street, which has been trading for around four months.

“We have had a much better response than we anticipated,” he said. “Over Christmas we exceeded what we hoped for and the first few weeks of the New Year, where you would usually expect quite a dip in trade, have also been busy.

“We do need to see more niche shops offering something different so people stay in the town to do their shopping. There are other jewellers in town but we offer something different.”

We asked readers for their views about the retail and leisure study on the Chad website this week.

‘Another View’ commented: “We live within the district but would never think of travelling into Mansfield for any reason at all. We can drive into Worksop and get parked up in less than half of the time it would take us to get into Mansfield once we have braved the traffic to the north of the town.”

Another reader, ‘karen090465’, said: “A good quality store, in the centre of town, selling reasonably priced food, would go a long way to helping older customers who might struggle to get up to Tesco or Sainsbury’s.”