The owner of men’s clothing store Northern Threads in South Shields has said more people need to shop in their local high street to prevent the take-over of e-commerce.
Phil Goodfellow, 32, has seen many store closures in South Shields, from Mark and Spencer’s to the imminent close of Burton’s menswear. The Northern Threads store he manages has been open 13 years and is still valued as a quality retailer in the local area. He is adamant that “a human being provides better customer service than a screen.”
He said: “The internet is diluting money from retail. People are making decisions in boardrooms to close stores and have never worked in retail before.”
Department stores are closing all over the UK due to the rising popularity of e-commerce with younger generations who no longer see a convenience to shop in physical stores.
Owner of Ship and Royal Pub in South Shields, Kieran Bates has said: ‘The less things there are in the town centre, the less people there will be coming to see them. It’ll be a downwards spiral.”
A lack of tourism in South Shields and in the North-East as a whole, could cause huge retail chains as well as independent stores to diminish from the region.
South Tyneside council have announced a £21million investment into building a new bus and metro interchange with the aim of revitalising and driving footfall to the town centre.
When asked his thoughts on the new interchange, Phil Goodfellow responded: “Anything new has got to be good.”