See what Doncaster town centre has - or it will be too late

Empty shops in Doncaster
Empty shops in Doncaster

In response to the article in the Free Press  on June 14 edition regarding the closure of House of Fraser, and in particular the comment from the Editor, Nancy Fielder, about how it’s up to us to save our town centre.

Imagine a time when there could be no shops left in town centres to browse in. In this modern life there are so many demands on our time and money. It’s easy to see why shopping online has taken over.

Are we destined to become a nation of zombies sat at home doing our shopping? People need people, and with higher than ever figures for anxiety, depression and loneliness, the importance of shopping is clear, getting people out of the house and talking.

Also, it’s not a fair playing field for town centre shops, high rent and rates, and parking charges contribute to drive customers away. In contrast online retailers pay less tax, and have little or no overheads!

There are also so many other places to shop, some people only visit their supermarket as they can get ‘everything’ they need there, or out of town shopping areas offer free parking which is a major attraction. People only have so much money, they cannot spend it everywhere. Doncaster council, and the Frenchgate shopping centre need to be aware of the need for cheaper, or free car parking, and help to assist in bringing down rent and rates.

We enjoy meeting people in our store, it is nice to have time for people and help them with their shopping experience. We are an independent retailer trading in Doncaster for over a hundred years, and we have seen many changes, but it is clear now that it is mainly ourselves that can make a difference.

We must go out and see how much our town centre still has to offer, before it’s too late.
Sarah Jones
Gregorys Leather Ltd. Frenchgate Centre.