Ilminster high street continues to buck the trend

Chard & Ilminster News: Ilminster high street continues to buck the trend Ilminster high street continues to buck the trend

SHOPPERS have been thanked for helping Ilminster town centre buck a gloomy national trend.

Ilminster Chamber of Commerce has reported that all retail premises are full occupied even after recent changes of ownership and closures due to retirement.

Many other towns are reporting problems attracting traders.

The Chamber also understands there has been a waiting list of businesses expressing an interest in coming into the town when premises become vacant.

A spokesman said: “Ilminster’s a charming small market town with many high-quality, interesting, independent shops.

“It has been a market town for many hundreds of years, and this adds to the retail mix we can offer visitors and our regular customers.

“All the retailers recognise that it’s important to work together to raise the profile of the town. This is reflected in their support for events such as the Victorian Night, the First Tuesday event, which is currently being revamped, and other community events.

“These are difficult times for all high street traders, and if we knew what the magic ingredient was to keeping the town successful we’d be on the phone to Mary Portas immediately, but in the end it’s the continued support of customers which keeps the town alive, and we can only thank them for it.”

Ilminster Mayor Cllr Emma Jane Taylor agreed that variety is key to the town’s success, saying: “I’m always impressed by the quality of our shops, and the range of goods and services they offer. It’s what makes our market town so special.”

Comments (4)

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2:12pm Thu 19 Dec 13

M Artian says...

Ilminster is fortunate to have an array of very good small shops. The picture in Chard, which is a less well off town reflects the picture taking place over wide swathes of the country, with small retailers hit by the double whammy of lower spending and higher costs and consequently closing in droves; its becoming a ghost town. If we are to remain a Nation of shopkeepers radical action is needed. Business rates for small retailers should be scrapped and replaced by a change in business taxation, that way shops will pay according to profit, not have a huge bill to pay before they open the door which threatens their very survival in lean times.
Ilminster is fortunate to have an array of very good small shops. The picture in Chard, which is a less well off town reflects the picture taking place over wide swathes of the country, with small retailers hit by the double whammy of lower spending and higher costs and consequently closing in droves; its becoming a ghost town. If we are to remain a Nation of shopkeepers radical action is needed. Business rates for small retailers should be scrapped and replaced by a change in business taxation, that way shops will pay according to profit, not have a huge bill to pay before they open the door which threatens their very survival in lean times. M Artian

10:42pm Fri 20 Dec 13

orchardman says...

It's all very well saying that business rates should be scrapped and replaced by a form of taxation based on turnover/profit, something that varies greatly depending on the type of business. It would also mean that successful high profit would effectively be subsidising the strugglers. It would be like saying those paying residential council tax should pay graduated rates based on income even though all enjoy the same benefits!. Also, I would suggest the councillor who says all retail premises are occupied hasn't taken a stroll along Frog Lane for a while since the old Ilminster Cycles premises has been empty for a year or more>
It's all very well saying that business rates should be scrapped and replaced by a form of taxation based on turnover/profit, something that varies greatly depending on the type of business. It would also mean that successful high profit would effectively be subsidising the strugglers. It would be like saying those paying residential council tax should pay graduated rates based on income even though all enjoy the same benefits!. Also, I would suggest the councillor who says all retail premises are occupied hasn't taken a stroll along Frog Lane for a while since the old Ilminster Cycles premises has been empty for a year or more> orchardman

12:15pm Sat 21 Dec 13

QuillPen says...

Ilminster traders do well as they give the personal service that people appreciate. Customers as known by name. Items on sale are good quality, especially in the fresh food shops: their produce far outstrips any supermarket - and in some cases, the local shop costs less.
Ilminster traders do well as they give the personal service that people appreciate. Customers as known by name. Items on sale are good quality, especially in the fresh food shops: their produce far outstrips any supermarket - and in some cases, the local shop costs less. QuillPen

9:32pm Sat 21 Dec 13

orchardman says...

Further to my previous message, I would like to agree with QuillPen in saying how fortunate we are in Ilminster to have a good variety of retail outlets in the town, and even the supermarket has its uses for filling the gaps that the towns traders don't provide. It's just a pity that these same councillors who are eulogising over the retail part of the town don't seem to have quite the same sentiment when it comes proposed desecration of the Herne Hill/ Shudrick Lane open, productive farmland!.
Further to my previous message, I would like to agree with QuillPen in saying how fortunate we are in Ilminster to have a good variety of retail outlets in the town, and even the supermarket has its uses for filling the gaps that the towns traders don't provide. It's just a pity that these same councillors who are eulogising over the retail part of the town don't seem to have quite the same sentiment when it comes proposed desecration of the Herne Hill/ Shudrick Lane open, productive farmland!. orchardman

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