Following the recent closures on Chichester High Street, the chairman of Chichester BID is calling on the city to seize the opportunity to ‘turn the tide’.
Colin Hicks said January footfall figures had been ‘disappointing’ but the city still had a ‘unique’ offering and he was confident Chichester’s high street could ‘buck the trend’.
It comes after the departure of House of Fraser from West Street, the sudden closure of HMV in East Street last week and confirmation from tReds shoe shop in North Street that it had also gone into administration.
Colin said: “A great shift in city retail is occurring which is making life more difficult for the current offering.
“No-one likes losing specialist outlets and I’m not complacent, but I feel confident that Chichester is a city that can buck the trend.
“We need to recognise that Chichester is performing well in an increasingly difficult climate – we were not called the fourth most resilient High Street for nothing.
“Our hearts go out to those many lives disrupted by job losses incurred by closures such as HMV and while we may be saying farewell to a few much-loved retail outlets, now is the time for us to focus on what lies ahead.
“Chichester is a musical city at heart. Whether it’s live music, an open mic at city venues, or our independent shops already selling instruments and vinyls.
“Not only this but Chichester trains over 1000 musicians a year. This is where our focus should be.
“Let us celebrate what a unique musical offering Chichester has – one that cannot be purchased online – and get the visitors in.”
The Chichester BID team has said it will continue working with its BID members to organise activities to strengthen the city’s appeal and increase dwell time on the High Street with its programme of festivities and the successful launch of its Chichester Gift Card.
For more information on Chichester BID and member services visit www.chichesterbid.co.uk.