Google+ Followers

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Shoppers need car parks not office blocks

Removing Car Parking from Town
Forces people to shop on the internet.
Back in 2009 I made the concious decision to focus my business on the non-local market. I could see which way the wind was blowing. The madness of continued pedestrianisation, the endless tax increases impoverishing the local people.

Local retail sales are at 60% of what they were in 2008 so it seems that this was a wise decision.

Now I am the cheapest on the internet for what I sell, in the UK on some lines we are the fourth largest account behind only Argos, John Lewis and H Samuel and of course my one store in Jersey's Central Market will always struggle to compete against huge chains such as these.

Our internet business has grown 50% year on year for the past three years. We have become bullion dealers, we offer an eBay selling service. Next year we are going to launch yet more businesses.

Recession is a time when fortunes are lost and made; there were more millionaires created during the great depression than at any other time.

We haven't given up on our core business, but the government seems determined to destroy retail as it destroyed tourism and is well on the way to destroying the finance industry.

Whilst we have adapted and grown the Government of Jersey has stuck doggedly to its obviously flawed plans. It is irreparably damaging the economy but still they will not take the required steps and de-regulate, lower taxes and just stand aside and let those of us with some business acumen clear up their mess.

Retail sales have fallen by 5% according to official figures this year (5% is the maximum recordable decrease on the form they send round to businesses so who knows how far it really fell) and Liberty Wharf is failing particularly badly.

We have heard the usual excuses - 
  1. the internet is undercutting us
  2. people aren't spending because of the economic situation
Well here are the facts -
  1. There is no parking in town
  2. The vehicular access to town is so congested that it is impossible to get to anyway
  3. When you cut incomes (with less than inflation rises) and raise taxes there is less disposable income
There has been a complete lack of criticism of the government and their policy which lies at the very heart of the problem.

We do not need or want the Waterfront, we never have and I doubt we ever will. Just because the government has decided that it wishes to enter the business of being a Commercial landlord does not mean that everyone is suddenly going to agree to be their tenant.

The decision to do away with the Esplanade car park is quite simply self-defeating. If no one can park to get to Liberty Wharf then who is going to go there?

Parking is the big issue, make parking free on Saturdays and more people would come to town.

It is that simple.