Shock as Blackburn's oldest shop announces plans to close

Blackburn Citizen: ‘CLOSING’: Mercer’s ‘CLOSING’: Mercer’s

BLACKBURN’S oldest shop has announced plans to close, blaming the credit crunch for a decline in sales.

Mercer’s has been in Blackburn for 169 years, selling toys, household goods and hardware.

In a statement, the firm said its 19 staff were being consulted on plans to close the much-loved Northgate complex.

Following the 30-day statutory consultation, barring a new buyer or a change of mind by the board of directors, the store is expected to close in the next three or four months.

However, its trade accessories branch in Pump Street will remain open.

Chamber of trade president David Cottam said the announcement was a “catastrophic” blow to the town centre.

Blackburn MP Jack Straw said he was “very saddened” by the news, and confirmed talks had been taking place in an attempt to save the shop from closure.

And another long-serving trader, Phil Ainsworth, of the town centre marketing committee, said Mercer’s had become “synonymous” with Blackburn.

Mercer and Sons managing director Bill Haggas said parking problems and the confusing road layout of Blackburn town centre were also to blame for “sustained losses” in recent years.

This has sparked a political row, with the Tory councillor in charge of regeneration blaming the previous Labour administration for changes to the road network with the creation of the Orbital Route.

Blackburn with Darwen council said it had tried to help Mercer’s with marketing, and pointed to initiatives like free parking in the run up to Christmas in an attempt to boost traders’ fortunes.

But Neal Atherton, who has managed the Northgate shop for four years, said the road layout changes were “the start of a slippery slope”.

He said: “Blackburn’s road network is legendary among our delivery drivers.

"We never really recovered from the traffic being re-routed.”

Improvements to town centre trade are promised once building work in the town centre, including The Mall’s £66million shopping centre, are completed.

But Mr Atherton, who started working for Mercer’s 37 years ago, said it had not been possible for the shop to hang on.

He said: “The board of directors do not feel they are in a position to wait.

“It’s terribly sad, many of the staff have been here for more than 10 years. And we have some very sad customers.

“I appreciate the council’s recent efforts, but at the moment everyone in retail sees it coming. It’s very depressing.

“You go around the town and everyone has got massive sales signs.

"I feel pessimistic, not just for Blackburn but for everywhere.”

General manager Dave Baron said the shop could still be saved if a last-minute buyer stepped in, but confirmed it looked likely to close “barring any last minute miracles”.

He said the Northgate shop had been subsidised by the profitable Pump Street branch in recent years.

Elaine Wilson, a senior manager at Pump Street, said customers were “absolutely devastated” by the news about the shop, with one preparing a petition to try and persuade the directors to save it.

She added: “We need a knight in shining armour”.

Mr Haggas said: “We are very proud of the long and established history of Mercer’s department store.

"The family-run business has been operating for 169 years but the shop may finally have succumbed to the forces of change we are facing.”

He added: “We hope to continue trading for another 169 years from our Pump Street premises.”

Comments (35)

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8:30am Fri 9 Jan 09

Have Yr Say says...

This has sparked a political row, with the Tory councillor in charge of regeneration blaming the previous Labour administration for changes to the road network with the creation of the Orbital Route.

Blackburn with Darwen Council should be ashamed of what they have done to this town, and as for which party is in control, does this matter, as none of you seem to take into account what the people of Blackburn want or need.

Driving in Blackburn is a joke, you have to plan where you are going. I for one will miss Mercer's as it is a superb shop.

This has sparked a political row, with the Tory councillor in charge of regeneration blaming the previous Labour administration for changes to the road network with the creation of the Orbital Route. Blackburn with Darwen Council should be ashamed of what they have done to this town, and as for which party is in control, does this matter, as none of you seem to take into account what the people of Blackburn want or need. Driving in Blackburn is a joke, you have to plan where you are going. I for one will miss Mercer's as it is a superb shop. Have Yr Say
  • Score: 0

8:56am Fri 9 Jan 09

Ex-Darrener says...

How very, very sad. That really is the end of an era and the death knell for independent shopping in Blackburn. We call every time we are in town and the roads are never a problem as we are always parked up and walk there (Northgate is pedestrianised after all). Give me a shop like Mercer's every time over 100 charmless indentikit Mall-type shopping centres. The toys section is particularly superb and will be missed.
How very, very sad. That really is the end of an era and the death knell for independent shopping in Blackburn. We call every time we are in town and the roads are never a problem as we are always parked up and walk there (Northgate is pedestrianised after all). Give me a shop like Mercer's every time over 100 charmless indentikit Mall-type shopping centres. The toys section is particularly superb and will be missed. Ex-Darrener
  • Score: 0

9:04am Fri 9 Jan 09

sofia says...

Shocking!
Shocking! sofia
  • Score: 0

9:08am Fri 9 Jan 09

DougFlo says...

I feel very sorry for Mercers. One of Blackburn's last truly individual shops. This is the type of shop that most toens are lacking and is another nail in the bad plannig of Blackburn.

The Mercer's directors point out that the changes in the road system were the beginning of the slippery slope and I cannot agree more.

The town is now full of non-sensical junctions and traffic flows.

These are some of the worst:

The changes to traffic flow around the top of King Street. The change of direction of Cardwell Place has left us with a maze of ridiculous junctions and lost the full traffic flow through onto Barton Street and restricted access to the Barton Street car park, vital for Mercers.

The closure of Sudell Cross to traffic, means traffic attemting to park in the town centre are unable to search for car paring spaces as they are unable to loop round areas such as Richmond Terrace or move between parking area easily.

The give way on Mincing Lane with Jubilee Street, which is an unatural place to have such a give way.

The whole pedestrianisation of Church Street, which has created a rat run through the Boulevard.

The twisted junction heading down Montague Street, where traffic from Johnston Street is unable to access the flow of traffic and therefore blocks the whole junction.

The loss of access from the Barton Street end of Feilden Street onto Montague Street.

The right turn from Alma Street onto Barabara Castle Way, which has created a dangerous access to this road.

Blackburn Council need to take immedaite action to correct the flow of traffic through the town centre and correct the congestion that is not caused by weight of trafic, but by the design of the road system.

These are just a few of the mad changes the council have made that are killing the town centre.

I am usre readers can list many more idiotic junctions or traffic flows.

Blackburn council need to prioritise this madness now!!!
I feel very sorry for Mercers. One of Blackburn's last truly individual shops. This is the type of shop that most toens are lacking and is another nail in the bad plannig of Blackburn. The Mercer's directors point out that the changes in the road system were the beginning of the slippery slope and I cannot agree more. The town is now full of non-sensical junctions and traffic flows. These are some of the worst: The changes to traffic flow around the top of King Street. The change of direction of Cardwell Place has left us with a maze of ridiculous junctions and lost the full traffic flow through onto Barton Street and restricted access to the Barton Street car park, vital for Mercers. The closure of Sudell Cross to traffic, means traffic attemting to park in the town centre are unable to search for car paring spaces as they are unable to loop round areas such as Richmond Terrace or move between parking area easily. The give way on Mincing Lane with Jubilee Street, which is an unatural place to have such a give way. The whole pedestrianisation of Church Street, which has created a rat run through the Boulevard. The twisted junction heading down Montague Street, where traffic from Johnston Street is unable to access the flow of traffic and therefore blocks the whole junction. The loss of access from the Barton Street end of Feilden Street onto Montague Street. The right turn from Alma Street onto Barabara Castle Way, which has created a dangerous access to this road. Blackburn Council need to take immedaite action to correct the flow of traffic through the town centre and correct the congestion that is not caused by weight of trafic, but by the design of the road system. These are just a few of the mad changes the council have made that are killing the town centre. I am usre readers can list many more idiotic junctions or traffic flows. Blackburn council need to prioritise this madness now!!! DougFlo
  • Score: 0

9:13am Fri 9 Jan 09

The Lancs says...

End of an era indeed. Mercers IS Blackburn. What with the general demise of and lack of investment in the town centre, hair-brained bridge/road schemes
and the general economic downturn, what chance do long established family businesses have in a town such as ours? Saddened to hear this news and for those that will lose their jobs.
End of an era indeed. Mercers IS Blackburn. What with the general demise of and lack of investment in the town centre, hair-brained bridge/road schemes and the general economic downturn, what chance do long established family businesses have in a town such as ours? Saddened to hear this news and for those that will lose their jobs. The Lancs
  • Score: 0

9:22am Fri 9 Jan 09

Kevin, Colne says...

This is another sad story to add to the list of local and national stores closing. The reasons are many and varied but once custom is lost it is exceedingly difficult to re-capture. I think that in retailing it is easier to keep the customers you've got than to get new ones, but in town centres retailers have faced a 'double whammy' with the onslaught from changes in competition compounded with actions from local authorities that have made a bad situation infinitely worse.

In a nutshell there are not enough shoppers to go around, and now there are not enough shops for the units available.

More generally, I would imagine that owners of shopping centres and malls are spending a lot of time running to the lavatory. The only problem is that when they arrive they will have to join a queue at the head of which will be the Prime Minister, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the rest of the Cabinet.

In America local malls are reportedly in desperate straits, with occupancy rates in some instances as low as 75%. I believe there are cases were malls have gone into foreclosure having faced a collapse in rental income and an inability to re-finanace their debts. As Ken Rosen, Professor of Real Estate at Berkeley, said: "The system has never been tested for a deep recession".

Well, we're just in the early stages of starting the stress test and it doesn't look good.
This is another sad story to add to the list of local and national stores closing. The reasons are many and varied but once custom is lost it is exceedingly difficult to re-capture. I think that in retailing it is easier to keep the customers you've got than to get new ones, but in town centres retailers have faced a 'double whammy' with the onslaught from changes in competition compounded with actions from local authorities that have made a bad situation infinitely worse. In a nutshell there are not enough shoppers to go around, and now there are not enough shops for the units available. More generally, I would imagine that owners of shopping centres and malls are spending a lot of time running to the lavatory. The only problem is that when they arrive they will have to join a queue at the head of which will be the Prime Minister, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the rest of the Cabinet. In America local malls are reportedly in desperate straits, with occupancy rates in some instances as low as 75%. I believe there are cases were malls have gone into foreclosure having faced a collapse in rental income and an inability to re-finanace their debts. As Ken Rosen, Professor of Real Estate at Berkeley, said: "The system has never been tested for a deep recession". Well, we're just in the early stages of starting the stress test and it doesn't look good. Kevin, Colne
  • Score: 0

9:35am Fri 9 Jan 09

A Darener says...

Terrible news!
When I used to go in Mercer's during the mid 60's as an apprentice at the ROF I used to ask for a discount as a employee of the ROF and was always given at least 10% off. This made me feel like I was special, although they probably did it for everyone. The staff were and still are friendly, helpful and eager to please. Some items tended to be a tad expensive but you couldn't fault their gift or toy department. Perhaps it can be saved. Certainly every effort should be made to keep it open. Perhaps the council can look at a rate reduction,freeze or postponement. Although this would probably cause problems with other stores in a similar situation. But something needs to be done before the "Closed" signs appear on the Blackburn with Darwen boundaries.
Terrible news! When I used to go in Mercer's during the mid 60's as an apprentice at the ROF I used to ask for a discount as a employee of the ROF and was always given at least 10% off. This made me feel like I was special, although they probably did it for everyone. The staff were and still are friendly, helpful and eager to please. Some items tended to be a tad expensive but you couldn't fault their gift or toy department. Perhaps it can be saved. Certainly every effort should be made to keep it open. Perhaps the council can look at a rate reduction,freeze or postponement. Although this would probably cause problems with other stores in a similar situation. But something needs to be done before the "Closed" signs appear on the Blackburn with Darwen boundaries. A Darener
  • Score: 0

9:45am Fri 9 Jan 09

spyderleg says...

Where are all the eternal optimists now? the ones that only a few weeks ago were singing the praises of this town and this council and decrying anyone who had the gaul to criticise what has been done to this once great town in the name of "progress"... nails and coffins spring to mind!
Where are all the eternal optimists now? the ones that only a few weeks ago were singing the praises of this town and this council and decrying anyone who had the gaul to criticise what has been done to this once great town in the name of "progress"... nails and coffins spring to mind! spyderleg
  • Score: 0

10:04am Fri 9 Jan 09

DannyP87 says...

Very sad news for Mercers and Blackburn. But...

... although Mercers has been here for 169 years the pedestrianised part of Northgate is now dead and I believe it has been for a long time.

If you haven't already been in the shop I wouldn't be suprised if no one knew what was for sale other than toys which can be quite expensive any way. I don't think I've ever seen any advertising from them either which could help bring more people in.

A shop with two premises sureley don't need a board of directors either.

Seems like I've gone on a rant which in the circumstances maybe seems harsh, I do wish the staff of Mercer's all the best and I sure do hope a buyer is found.
Very sad news for Mercers and Blackburn. But... ... although Mercers has been here for 169 years the pedestrianised part of Northgate is now dead and I believe it has been for a long time. If you haven't already been in the shop I wouldn't be suprised if no one knew what was for sale other than toys which can be quite expensive any way. I don't think I've ever seen any advertising from them either which could help bring more people in. A shop with two premises sureley don't need a board of directors either. Seems like I've gone on a rant which in the circumstances maybe seems harsh, I do wish the staff of Mercer's all the best and I sure do hope a buyer is found. DannyP87
  • Score: 0

10:28am Fri 9 Jan 09

lkw says...

DannyP87 wrote:
Very sad news for Mercers and Blackburn. But... ... although Mercers has been here for 169 years the pedestrianised part of Northgate is now dead and I believe it has been for a long time. If you haven't already been in the shop I wouldn't be suprised if no one knew what was for sale other than toys which can be quite expensive any way. I don't think I've ever seen any advertising from them either which could help bring more people in. A shop with two premises sureley don't need a board of directors either. Seems like I've gone on a rant which in the circumstances maybe seems harsh, I do wish the staff of Mercer's all the best and I sure do hope a buyer is found.
Good point. although it is sad to see Mercer's go, it has also been sad to see it gradually lose touch with what shoppers want over the years. Apart from the toy department most of the shop looks is a mish mash of ill thought out products they have been trying to shift for years.
This place needed a cafe, and some nice products. Nice doesn't always mean so expensive as to be out of the reach of Blackburn people either. They perhaps should have taken a leaf out Ossy Mill's book and adapted it to the town centre.
Unfortunately it is survival of the fittest in business.
[quote][p][bold]DannyP87[/bold] wrote: Very sad news for Mercers and Blackburn. But... ... although Mercers has been here for 169 years the pedestrianised part of Northgate is now dead and I believe it has been for a long time. If you haven't already been in the shop I wouldn't be suprised if no one knew what was for sale other than toys which can be quite expensive any way. I don't think I've ever seen any advertising from them either which could help bring more people in. A shop with two premises sureley don't need a board of directors either. Seems like I've gone on a rant which in the circumstances maybe seems harsh, I do wish the staff of Mercer's all the best and I sure do hope a buyer is found.[/p][/quote]Good point. although it is sad to see Mercer's go, it has also been sad to see it gradually lose touch with what shoppers want over the years. Apart from the toy department most of the shop looks is a mish mash of ill thought out products they have been trying to shift for years. This place needed a cafe, and some nice products. Nice doesn't always mean so expensive as to be out of the reach of Blackburn people either. They perhaps should have taken a leaf out Ossy Mill's book and adapted it to the town centre. Unfortunately it is survival of the fittest in business. lkw
  • Score: 0

10:35am Fri 9 Jan 09

Ex-Darrener says...

DougFlo wrote:
I feel very sorry for Mercers. One of Blackburn's last truly individual shops. This is the type of shop that most toens are lacking and is another nail in the bad plannig of Blackburn.

The Mercer's directors point out that the changes in the road system were the beginning of the slippery slope and I cannot agree more.

The town is now full of non-sensical junctions and traffic flows.

These are some of the worst:

The changes to traffic flow around the top of King Street. The change of direction of Cardwell Place has left us with a maze of ridiculous junctions and lost the full traffic flow through onto Barton Street and restricted access to the Barton Street car park, vital for Mercers.

The closure of Sudell Cross to traffic, means traffic attemting to park in the town centre are unable to search for car paring spaces as they are unable to loop round areas such as Richmond Terrace or move between parking area easily.

The give way on Mincing Lane with Jubilee Street, which is an unatural place to have such a give way.

The whole pedestrianisation of Church Street, which has created a rat run through the Boulevard.

The twisted junction heading down Montague Street, where traffic from Johnston Street is unable to access the flow of traffic and therefore blocks the whole junction.

The loss of access from the Barton Street end of Feilden Street onto Montague Street.

The right turn from Alma Street onto Barabara Castle Way, which has created a dangerous access to this road.

Blackburn Council need to take immedaite action to correct the flow of traffic through the town centre and correct the congestion that is not caused by weight of trafic, but by the design of the road system.

These are just a few of the mad changes the council have made that are killing the town centre.

I am usre readers can list many more idiotic junctions or traffic flows.

Blackburn council need to prioritise this madness now!!!
But when main road traffic used to flow along that section of Northgate and the Labour Rooms and other buildings occupied what is now Barton Street car park, was it honestly easier to get to Mercers than it is now? I don't think access for the shopper has actually ever been more convenient, as long as you aren't buying something you need to take straight to your car, which would have always presented a problem. As much as I agree that the roads layout in Blackburn town centre is ridiculous (has Higher Church Street/Darwen Street ever been busier?), I think the roads issue is a bit of a red herring. The demise is all to do with modern trends of identikit shopping in identikit shops. I bet there are some folk who frequent The Mall every weekend who don't even realise Mercer's is there, one block behind!
[quote][p][bold]DougFlo[/bold] wrote: I feel very sorry for Mercers. One of Blackburn's last truly individual shops. This is the type of shop that most toens are lacking and is another nail in the bad plannig of Blackburn. The Mercer's directors point out that the changes in the road system were the beginning of the slippery slope and I cannot agree more. The town is now full of non-sensical junctions and traffic flows. These are some of the worst: The changes to traffic flow around the top of King Street. The change of direction of Cardwell Place has left us with a maze of ridiculous junctions and lost the full traffic flow through onto Barton Street and restricted access to the Barton Street car park, vital for Mercers. The closure of Sudell Cross to traffic, means traffic attemting to park in the town centre are unable to search for car paring spaces as they are unable to loop round areas such as Richmond Terrace or move between parking area easily. The give way on Mincing Lane with Jubilee Street, which is an unatural place to have such a give way. The whole pedestrianisation of Church Street, which has created a rat run through the Boulevard. The twisted junction heading down Montague Street, where traffic from Johnston Street is unable to access the flow of traffic and therefore blocks the whole junction. The loss of access from the Barton Street end of Feilden Street onto Montague Street. The right turn from Alma Street onto Barabara Castle Way, which has created a dangerous access to this road. Blackburn Council need to take immedaite action to correct the flow of traffic through the town centre and correct the congestion that is not caused by weight of trafic, but by the design of the road system. These are just a few of the mad changes the council have made that are killing the town centre. I am usre readers can list many more idiotic junctions or traffic flows. Blackburn council need to prioritise this madness now!!![/p][/quote]But when main road traffic used to flow along that section of Northgate and the Labour Rooms and other buildings occupied what is now Barton Street car park, was it honestly easier to get to Mercers than it is now? I don't think access for the shopper has actually ever been more convenient, as long as you aren't buying something you need to take straight to your car, which would have always presented a problem. As much as I agree that the roads layout in Blackburn town centre is ridiculous (has Higher Church Street/Darwen Street ever been busier?), I think the roads issue is a bit of a red herring. The demise is all to do with modern trends of identikit shopping in identikit shops. I bet there are some folk who frequent The Mall every weekend who don't even realise Mercer's is there, one block behind! Ex-Darrener
  • Score: 0

10:46am Fri 9 Jan 09

DougFlo says...

The traffic flow is not a red herring. Let's not go back too far shall we?

Before the most recent changes to traffic flow, you cannot deny it was easier to access the Barton Street car park. It is a fact!

I know people who now refuse to drive into Blackburn due to the layout of the roads and junctions. This must be a contributory factor.

AnnyP87 states that this company does not require a board of directors. It is a Limited company and so by law requires directors!
The traffic flow is not a red herring. Let's not go back too far shall we? Before the most recent changes to traffic flow, you cannot deny it was easier to access the Barton Street car park. It is a fact! I know people who now refuse to drive into Blackburn due to the layout of the roads and junctions. This must be a contributory factor. AnnyP87 states that this company does not require a board of directors. It is a Limited company and so by law requires directors! DougFlo
  • Score: 0

10:57am Fri 9 Jan 09

powerpop says...

I live abroad, but I always visit Mercers for gifts for relatives when I call to Blackburn. A truly unique shop, but sadly past its sell-by date.
Markets and tastes change and blaming polititians and roads are useless.
Thank you Mercers for your years of service to the community.
I live abroad, but I always visit Mercers for gifts for relatives when I call to Blackburn. A truly unique shop, but sadly past its sell-by date. Markets and tastes change and blaming polititians and roads are useless. Thank you Mercers for your years of service to the community. powerpop
  • Score: 0

12:16pm Fri 9 Jan 09

Ex-Darrener says...

DougFlo wrote:
The traffic flow is not a red herring. Let's not go back too far shall we?

Before the most recent changes to traffic flow, you cannot deny it was easier to access the Barton Street car park. It is a fact!

I know people who now refuse to drive into Blackburn due to the layout of the roads and junctions. This must be a contributory factor.

AnnyP87 states that this company does not require a board of directors. It is a Limited company and so by law requires directors!
As dreadful as the traffic system is in the town centre, I still maintain it is not the primary reason Mercers is threatened with closure. Sadly, modern shoppers just don't seem to want that kind of place anymore, although the point about Ossy Mills by an earlier correspondent is a good one and Dawson's of Clitheroe, a very similar shop to Mercer's, has also moved better with the times. I also find it rather patronising suggesting I don't go back too far to make the point about access to the shop. After 169 years, what is 30 or 40 if it is relevant?
[quote][p][bold]DougFlo[/bold] wrote: The traffic flow is not a red herring. Let's not go back too far shall we? Before the most recent changes to traffic flow, you cannot deny it was easier to access the Barton Street car park. It is a fact! I know people who now refuse to drive into Blackburn due to the layout of the roads and junctions. This must be a contributory factor. AnnyP87 states that this company does not require a board of directors. It is a Limited company and so by law requires directors! [/p][/quote]As dreadful as the traffic system is in the town centre, I still maintain it is not the primary reason Mercers is threatened with closure. Sadly, modern shoppers just don't seem to want that kind of place anymore, although the point about Ossy Mills by an earlier correspondent is a good one and Dawson's of Clitheroe, a very similar shop to Mercer's, has also moved better with the times. I also find it rather patronising suggesting I don't go back too far to make the point about access to the shop. After 169 years, what is 30 or 40 if it is relevant? Ex-Darrener
  • Score: 0

12:22pm Fri 9 Jan 09

Taztastic says...

I wish all the staff of Mercers well for the future.

However, the road system IS pathetic and has led to people shopping elsewere, councillors please note you have failed miserably.

I now shop online for all the things I would have got from Mercers once of a day, just before Xmas I spent £90 on cookware, cheaper online from a shop in Workington and delivery included for less than Mercers price.

Maybe the councillors would consider a twining enterprise with Chernobyl, at least people have started to visit there!

I wish all the staff of Mercers well for the future. However, the road system IS pathetic and has led to people shopping elsewere, councillors please note you have failed miserably. I now shop online for all the things I would have got from Mercers once of a day, just before Xmas I spent £90 on cookware, cheaper online from a shop in Workington and delivery included for less than Mercers price. Maybe the councillors would consider a twining enterprise with Chernobyl, at least people have started to visit there! Taztastic
  • Score: 0

12:33pm Fri 9 Jan 09

Impartial says...

I don't like saying this as it does sound racist, (which I most certainly am not), but surely the true depressing picture for Blackburn is that over a third of the population now have their own communities and the money circulates around them. Where have the old Blackburnians gone, I'll tell you. Go to Chorley, Leyland and of course Preston and you will most certainly bump into your family or friends from Blackburn spending their money. Hence the drain on the town's retailing community. The only time you see all members of the Blackburn population together in the town is when the sales are on, i.e. Next, M&S etc. The outlook I feel is bleak for Blackburn. We need reinventing, new name perhaps, how about NEWBURN for a name. The politicians and local council have a lot to answer for, but will they? will they eck!!!!!
I don't like saying this as it does sound racist, (which I most certainly am not), but surely the true depressing picture for Blackburn is that over a third of the population now have their own communities and the money circulates around them. Where have the old Blackburnians gone, I'll tell you. Go to Chorley, Leyland and of course Preston and you will most certainly bump into your family or friends from Blackburn spending their money. Hence the drain on the town's retailing community. The only time you see all members of the Blackburn population together in the town is when the sales are on, i.e. Next, M&S etc. The outlook I feel is bleak for Blackburn. We need reinventing, new name perhaps, how about NEWBURN for a name. The politicians and local council have a lot to answer for, but will they? will they eck!!!!! Impartial
  • Score: 0

12:49pm Fri 9 Jan 09

the creole kid says...

spyderleg wrote:
Where are all the eternal optimists now? the ones that only a few weeks ago were singing the praises of this town and this council and decrying anyone who had the gaul to criticise what has been done to this once great town in the name of "progress"... nails and coffins spring to mind!
Whilst everyone will be quick to jump on the bandwagon and blame the council - how many of you above have actually been in and bought something from mercers this xmas? Not many I bet. The road layout won't deter a shopper because it is easy to park on the shopping centre and all they have to do is walk a short distance to the shop. What has killed this shop is that it is very much a shop of a bygone era which is very sad. If someone wants a toy now they will probably shop online or at Toys R Us, if they want paint of DIY they will go to B&Q - for anything else the giant Tescos have it all. That is what is killing these types of stores - Woolworths is another example - trying to offer too many lines of goods or in other words a jack of all trades and master of none. If residents in the borough really care then they do not need to sign petitions they need to buy goods from the store however, at the end of the day most will look at getting the cheapest deal which will invariably mean visiting one of the large out of town shopping centres.
[quote][p][bold]spyderleg[/bold] wrote: Where are all the eternal optimists now? the ones that only a few weeks ago were singing the praises of this town and this council and decrying anyone who had the gaul to criticise what has been done to this once great town in the name of "progress"... nails and coffins spring to mind![/p][/quote]Whilst everyone will be quick to jump on the bandwagon and blame the council - how many of you above have actually been in and bought something from mercers this xmas? Not many I bet. The road layout won't deter a shopper because it is easy to park on the shopping centre and all they have to do is walk a short distance to the shop. What has killed this shop is that it is very much a shop of a bygone era which is very sad. If someone wants a toy now they will probably shop online or at Toys R Us, if they want paint of DIY they will go to B&Q - for anything else the giant Tescos have it all. That is what is killing these types of stores - Woolworths is another example - trying to offer too many lines of goods or in other words a jack of all trades and master of none. If residents in the borough really care then they do not need to sign petitions they need to buy goods from the store however, at the end of the day most will look at getting the cheapest deal which will invariably mean visiting one of the large out of town shopping centres. the creole kid
  • Score: 0

12:50pm Fri 9 Jan 09

Slimplynth says...

Impartial wrote:
I don't like saying this as it does sound racist, (which I most certainly am not), but surely the true depressing picture for Blackburn is that over a third of the population now have their own communities and the money circulates around them. Where have the old Blackburnians gone, I'll tell you. Go to Chorley, Leyland and of course Preston and you will most certainly bump into your family or friends from Blackburn spending their money. Hence the drain on the town's retailing community. The only time you see all members of the Blackburn population together in the town is when the sales are on, i.e. Next, M&S etc. The outlook I feel is bleak for Blackburn. We need reinventing, new name perhaps, how about NEWBURN for a name. The politicians and local council have a lot to answer for, but will they? will they eck!!!!!
Its not a racist remark at all Impartial, the fact is that pubs in areas of blackburn that experienced white flight have also closed down, pubs that enjoyed many years of pint pulling for the locals.

The reason why Mercers is closing is because it's stock line up no-longer matches up with the locals tastes or depth of pocket.

It's sad to see it go but maybe it's for the best. Surely that side of town will get better when the new college buildings are completed. Hopefully the Mercers building can contribute to Blackburn in other ways. I think it's likely to become a pub or restaurant if it sells.
[quote][p][bold]Impartial[/bold] wrote: I don't like saying this as it does sound racist, (which I most certainly am not), but surely the true depressing picture for Blackburn is that over a third of the population now have their own communities and the money circulates around them. Where have the old Blackburnians gone, I'll tell you. Go to Chorley, Leyland and of course Preston and you will most certainly bump into your family or friends from Blackburn spending their money. Hence the drain on the town's retailing community. The only time you see all members of the Blackburn population together in the town is when the sales are on, i.e. Next, M&S etc. The outlook I feel is bleak for Blackburn. We need reinventing, new name perhaps, how about NEWBURN for a name. The politicians and local council have a lot to answer for, but will they? will they eck!!!!![/p][/quote]Its not a racist remark at all Impartial, the fact is that pubs in areas of blackburn that experienced white flight have also closed down, pubs that enjoyed many years of pint pulling for the locals. The reason why Mercers is closing is because it's stock line up no-longer matches up with the locals tastes or depth of pocket. It's sad to see it go but maybe it's for the best. Surely that side of town will get better when the new college buildings are completed. Hopefully the Mercers building can contribute to Blackburn in other ways. I think it's likely to become a pub or restaurant if it sells. Slimplynth
  • Score: 0

12:52pm Fri 9 Jan 09

the creole kid says...

Impartial wrote:
I don't like saying this as it does sound racist, (which I most certainly am not), but surely the true depressing picture for Blackburn is that over a third of the population now have their own communities and the money circulates around them. Where have the old Blackburnians gone, I'll tell you. Go to Chorley, Leyland and of course Preston and you will most certainly bump into your family or friends from Blackburn spending their money. Hence the drain on the town's retailing community. The only time you see all members of the Blackburn population together in the town is when the sales are on, i.e. Next, M&S etc. The outlook I feel is bleak for Blackburn. We need reinventing, new name perhaps, how about NEWBURN for a name. The politicians and local council have a lot to answer for, but will they? will they eck!!!!!
A ridiculous statement - when has there ever been an era with no communities? I can remember in the 50s a massive POlish Community in Blackburn so either you are a lot older than me or making sweeping rash statements. Modern shoppers habits have killed this store as they have Woolworths and probably other 'general' stores in the future.
[quote][p][bold]Impartial[/bold] wrote: I don't like saying this as it does sound racist, (which I most certainly am not), but surely the true depressing picture for Blackburn is that over a third of the population now have their own communities and the money circulates around them. Where have the old Blackburnians gone, I'll tell you. Go to Chorley, Leyland and of course Preston and you will most certainly bump into your family or friends from Blackburn spending their money. Hence the drain on the town's retailing community. The only time you see all members of the Blackburn population together in the town is when the sales are on, i.e. Next, M&S etc. The outlook I feel is bleak for Blackburn. We need reinventing, new name perhaps, how about NEWBURN for a name. The politicians and local council have a lot to answer for, but will they? will they eck!!!!![/p][/quote]A ridiculous statement - when has there ever been an era with no communities? I can remember in the 50s a massive POlish Community in Blackburn so either you are a lot older than me or making sweeping rash statements. Modern shoppers habits have killed this store as they have Woolworths and probably other 'general' stores in the future. the creole kid
  • Score: 0

1:00pm Fri 9 Jan 09

Impartial says...

the creole kid wrote:
Impartial wrote:
I don't like saying this as it does sound racist, (which I most certainly am not), but surely the true depressing picture for Blackburn is that over a third of the population now have their own communities and the money circulates around them. Where have the old Blackburnians gone, I'll tell you. Go to Chorley, Leyland and of course Preston and you will most certainly bump into your family or friends from Blackburn spending their money. Hence the drain on the town's retailing community. The only time you see all members of the Blackburn population together in the town is when the sales are on, i.e. Next, M&S etc. The outlook I feel is bleak for Blackburn. We need reinventing, new name perhaps, how about NEWBURN for a name. The politicians and local council have a lot to answer for, but will they? will they eck!!!!!
A ridiculous statement - when has there ever been an era with no communities? I can remember in the 50s a massive POlish Community in Blackburn so either you are a lot older than me or making sweeping rash statements. Modern shoppers habits have killed this store as they have Woolworths and probably other 'general' stores in the future.
I too, remember the Polish communities, what I don't remember is rows upon rows of shops just for their own benefit.
[quote][p][bold]the creole kid[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Impartial[/bold] wrote: I don't like saying this as it does sound racist, (which I most certainly am not), but surely the true depressing picture for Blackburn is that over a third of the population now have their own communities and the money circulates around them. Where have the old Blackburnians gone, I'll tell you. Go to Chorley, Leyland and of course Preston and you will most certainly bump into your family or friends from Blackburn spending their money. Hence the drain on the town's retailing community. The only time you see all members of the Blackburn population together in the town is when the sales are on, i.e. Next, M&S etc. The outlook I feel is bleak for Blackburn. We need reinventing, new name perhaps, how about NEWBURN for a name. The politicians and local council have a lot to answer for, but will they? will they eck!!!!![/p][/quote]A ridiculous statement - when has there ever been an era with no communities? I can remember in the 50s a massive POlish Community in Blackburn so either you are a lot older than me or making sweeping rash statements. Modern shoppers habits have killed this store as they have Woolworths and probably other 'general' stores in the future.[/p][/quote]I too, remember the Polish communities, what I don't remember is rows upon rows of shops just for their own benefit. Impartial
  • Score: 0

1:00pm Fri 9 Jan 09

Slimplynth says...

the creole kid wrote:
spyderleg wrote: Where are all the eternal optimists now? the ones that only a few weeks ago were singing the praises of this town and this council and decrying anyone who had the gaul to criticise what has been done to this once great town in the name of "progress"... nails and coffins spring to mind!
Whilst everyone will be quick to jump on the bandwagon and blame the council - how many of you above have actually been in and bought something from mercers this xmas? Not many I bet. The road layout won't deter a shopper because it is easy to park on the shopping centre and all they have to do is walk a short distance to the shop. What has killed this shop is that it is very much a shop of a bygone era which is very sad. If someone wants a toy now they will probably shop online or at Toys R Us, if they want paint of DIY they will go to B&Q - for anything else the giant Tescos have it all. That is what is killing these types of stores - Woolworths is another example - trying to offer too many lines of goods or in other words a jack of all trades and master of none. If residents in the borough really care then they do not need to sign petitions they need to buy goods from the store however, at the end of the day most will look at getting the cheapest deal which will invariably mean visiting one of the large out of town shopping centres.
Exactly, a shop in the town centre can't possibly offer the range of products and cheap prices available easily if you travel just outside the town centre.

If only it were Sim City, I'd knock down the Vue cinema + matalan etc(the old cinema building was much nicer to look at (from the outside ;-)

Level the whole of the mall and rebuild it on the Vue/matalan sites.

In the town centre taking pride of place would be ewood park, surrounded by pubs and restaurants, arcades (anything that was fun).

In place of ewood park would be all the garages and industrial units, which currently only make the town look scruffy - in fact these would be better placed on the green belt land earmarked at whitebirk/Rishton for easy access from the motor way(ooof controversial I know but sod it.. the town and surrounding towns need change and quick).. leaving ewood park as a nature reserve of some kind. A huge park to have festivals in during the summer?

Alas it's not sim city and we don'd 5 billion quid to spend on blackburn. The problems are the products of decisions that were sown without the foresight of how the town would look eventually.
[quote][p][bold]the creole kid[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]spyderleg[/bold] wrote: Where are all the eternal optimists now? the ones that only a few weeks ago were singing the praises of this town and this council and decrying anyone who had the gaul to criticise what has been done to this once great town in the name of "progress"... nails and coffins spring to mind![/p][/quote]Whilst everyone will be quick to jump on the bandwagon and blame the council - how many of you above have actually been in and bought something from mercers this xmas? Not many I bet. The road layout won't deter a shopper because it is easy to park on the shopping centre and all they have to do is walk a short distance to the shop. What has killed this shop is that it is very much a shop of a bygone era which is very sad. If someone wants a toy now they will probably shop online or at Toys R Us, if they want paint of DIY they will go to B&Q - for anything else the giant Tescos have it all. That is what is killing these types of stores - Woolworths is another example - trying to offer too many lines of goods or in other words a jack of all trades and master of none. If residents in the borough really care then they do not need to sign petitions they need to buy goods from the store however, at the end of the day most will look at getting the cheapest deal which will invariably mean visiting one of the large out of town shopping centres.[/p][/quote]Exactly, a shop in the town centre can't possibly offer the range of products and cheap prices available easily if you travel just outside the town centre. If only it were Sim City, I'd knock down the Vue cinema + matalan etc(the old cinema building was much nicer to look at (from the outside ;-) Level the whole of the mall and rebuild it on the Vue/matalan sites. In the town centre taking pride of place would be ewood park, surrounded by pubs and restaurants, arcades (anything that was fun). In place of ewood park would be all the garages and industrial units, which currently only make the town look scruffy - in fact these would be better placed on the green belt land earmarked at whitebirk/Rishton for easy access from the motor way(ooof controversial I know but sod it.. the town and surrounding towns need change and quick).. leaving ewood park as a nature reserve of some kind. A huge park to have festivals in during the summer? Alas it's not sim city and we don'd 5 billion quid to spend on blackburn. The problems are the products of decisions that were sown without the foresight of how the town would look eventually. Slimplynth
  • Score: 0

1:50pm Fri 9 Jan 09

DougFlo says...

Well I have to say I purhcased from Mercers several times this Christmas, becasue the generic faceless barnds in the shopping centre do not supply some of the items I wanted. I purhcased items from bothe thToy department and the kitchenware section.

There is no need to feel you are being patronised Ex-Darrener, I was simply pointing out that access to the Barton Street car park was far easier a couple of years ago.

A business like this closing can never be blamed fully on the company, customers or the council.

I was simply agreeing with the directors of the company about the recent changes to traffic flow and the fact I know that people will not travel into Blackburn becuase of the traffic flow.
Well I have to say I purhcased from Mercers several times this Christmas, becasue the generic faceless barnds in the shopping centre do not supply some of the items I wanted. I purhcased items from bothe thToy department and the kitchenware section. There is no need to feel you are being patronised Ex-Darrener, I was simply pointing out that access to the Barton Street car park was far easier a couple of years ago. A business like this closing can never be blamed fully on the company, customers or the council. I was simply agreeing with the directors of the company about the recent changes to traffic flow and the fact I know that people will not travel into Blackburn becuase of the traffic flow. DougFlo
  • Score: 0

2:23pm Fri 9 Jan 09

Ex-Darrener says...

Fair enough, Dougflo. I, too, purchased many of my Christmas presents from Mercers on my returns to my old home area (to watch Rovers) from my current exile elsewhere in the North West. But I am indeed one of those who finds the traffic system so bad that I now avoid driving round the new Astley Gate/Cardwell Place/Barton Street system by parking slightly further out and walking.
Fair enough, Dougflo. I, too, purchased many of my Christmas presents from Mercers on my returns to my old home area (to watch Rovers) from my current exile elsewhere in the North West. But I am indeed one of those who finds the traffic system so bad that I now avoid driving round the new Astley Gate/Cardwell Place/Barton Street system by parking slightly further out and walking. Ex-Darrener
  • Score: 0

3:11pm Fri 9 Jan 09

Hugh Jardon says...

The better half has shopped in Mercers since her move up here 13 years back. Mercers (as noted earlier) IS Blackburn & I'll be sad to see it go. However, truth be told, Blackburn Town Centre is a complete JOKE. Poor parking, Poor road layout etc etc. OK it'll have a lovely area for the the local winoes to have drink & a fight on a sunny afternoon. I AVOID the town centre whenever possible & ONLY tend to go there out of necessity...typicall
y to get my hair cut! BwD council..hang your heads in shame!!!! However, you won't know the meaning of shame!
The better half has shopped in Mercers since her move up here 13 years back. Mercers (as noted earlier) IS Blackburn & I'll be sad to see it go. However, truth be told, Blackburn Town Centre is a complete JOKE. Poor parking, Poor road layout etc etc. OK it'll have a lovely area for the the local winoes to have drink & a fight on a sunny afternoon. I AVOID the town centre whenever possible & ONLY tend to go there out of necessity...typicall y to get my hair cut! BwD council..hang your heads in shame!!!! However, you won't know the meaning of shame! Hugh Jardon
  • Score: 0

7:15pm Fri 9 Jan 09

aspinall says...

SATURDAY IN TOWN WITH MY LITTLE BOY WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN WHITHOUT OUR TRIP TO MERCERS, HE ALWAYS CAME OUT CLUTCHING HIS BAG OF GOODIES, YOU COULD PLAY ON THE TRAINS AND THE V TECH MACHINE AND NOT BE HASSLED AND HE WAS REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO HAVING A GO ON THE SCALETRIX TRACK IN MODELS UPSTAIRS WITH HIS NEW CARS. WHENEVER A FRIEND HAD A BIRTHDAY WE WOULD GO TO MERCERS AND BUY A GIFT VOUCHER SO THAT THE CHILD COULD CHOOSE WHAT THEY WANTED.
MERCERS HAD A CAR PARK AT THE BACK OF THE STORE SO NOT EXCUSES PLEASE OR WHAT ABOUT TAKING THE BUS AND DOING A BIT OF WALKING WOULD THAT BE SUCH AN EFFORT. LETS FACE IT PEOPLE OF BLACKBURN, YOU WOULD RATHER GO TO A RETAIL PARK FOR A DAY OUT THAN A BIT OF INCONVENIENCE TO SUPPORT A LOCAL FIRM.
MERCERS I WILL TRULY MISS YOU.
HAYLEY WELLS AND LOUIS WELLS.
SATURDAY IN TOWN WITH MY LITTLE BOY WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN WHITHOUT OUR TRIP TO MERCERS, HE ALWAYS CAME OUT CLUTCHING HIS BAG OF GOODIES, YOU COULD PLAY ON THE TRAINS AND THE V TECH MACHINE AND NOT BE HASSLED AND HE WAS REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO HAVING A GO ON THE SCALETRIX TRACK IN MODELS UPSTAIRS WITH HIS NEW CARS. WHENEVER A FRIEND HAD A BIRTHDAY WE WOULD GO TO MERCERS AND BUY A GIFT VOUCHER SO THAT THE CHILD COULD CHOOSE WHAT THEY WANTED. MERCERS HAD A CAR PARK AT THE BACK OF THE STORE SO NOT EXCUSES PLEASE OR WHAT ABOUT TAKING THE BUS AND DOING A BIT OF WALKING WOULD THAT BE SUCH AN EFFORT. LETS FACE IT PEOPLE OF BLACKBURN, YOU WOULD RATHER GO TO A RETAIL PARK FOR A DAY OUT THAN A BIT OF INCONVENIENCE TO SUPPORT A LOCAL FIRM. MERCERS I WILL TRULY MISS YOU. HAYLEY WELLS AND LOUIS WELLS. aspinall
  • Score: 0

7:18pm Fri 9 Jan 09

sofia says...

Impartial wrote:
I don't like saying this as it does sound racist, (which I most certainly am not), but surely the true depressing picture for Blackburn is that over a third of the population now have their own communities and the money circulates around them. Where have the old Blackburnians gone, I'll tell you. Go to Chorley, Leyland and of course Preston and you will most certainly bump into your family or friends from Blackburn spending their money. Hence the drain on the town's retailing community. The only time you see all members of the Blackburn population together in the town is when the sales are on, i.e. Next, M&S etc. The outlook I feel is bleak for Blackburn. We need reinventing, new name perhaps, how about NEWBURN for a name. The politicians and local council have a lot to answer for, but will they? will they eck!!!!!
What a stupid comment to make?? so its the ethnice minioritys fault the country has gone into recession??

Im asian myself and i was shopping in mercers only last week!! If u feel that bad for the store why dont u go and spend all ur wage or ur jobseekers allowance in the store??
[quote][p][bold]Impartial[/bold] wrote: I don't like saying this as it does sound racist, (which I most certainly am not), but surely the true depressing picture for Blackburn is that over a third of the population now have their own communities and the money circulates around them. Where have the old Blackburnians gone, I'll tell you. Go to Chorley, Leyland and of course Preston and you will most certainly bump into your family or friends from Blackburn spending their money. Hence the drain on the town's retailing community. The only time you see all members of the Blackburn population together in the town is when the sales are on, i.e. Next, M&S etc. The outlook I feel is bleak for Blackburn. We need reinventing, new name perhaps, how about NEWBURN for a name. The politicians and local council have a lot to answer for, but will they? will they eck!!!!![/p][/quote]What a stupid comment to make?? so its the ethnice minioritys fault the country has gone into recession?? Im asian myself and i was shopping in mercers only last week!! If u feel that bad for the store why dont u go and spend all ur wage or ur jobseekers allowance in the store?? sofia
  • Score: 0

7:21pm Fri 9 Jan 09

sofia says...

Slimplynth wrote:
Impartial wrote: I don't like saying this as it does sound racist, (which I most certainly am not), but surely the true depressing picture for Blackburn is that over a third of the population now have their own communities and the money circulates around them. Where have the old Blackburnians gone, I'll tell you. Go to Chorley, Leyland and of course Preston and you will most certainly bump into your family or friends from Blackburn spending their money. Hence the drain on the town's retailing community. The only time you see all members of the Blackburn population together in the town is when the sales are on, i.e. Next, M&S etc. The outlook I feel is bleak for Blackburn. We need reinventing, new name perhaps, how about NEWBURN for a name. The politicians and local council have a lot to answer for, but will they? will they eck!!!!!
Its not a racist remark at all Impartial, the fact is that pubs in areas of blackburn that experienced white flight have also closed down, pubs that enjoyed many years of pint pulling for the locals. The reason why Mercers is closing is because it's stock line up no-longer matches up with the locals tastes or depth of pocket. It's sad to see it go but maybe it's for the best. Surely that side of town will get better when the new college buildings are completed. Hopefully the Mercers building can contribute to Blackburn in other ways. I think it's likely to become a pub or restaurant if it sells.
More pubs have closed because of the smoking ban! there isnt any other reason besides that!!
[quote][p][bold]Slimplynth[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Impartial[/bold] wrote: I don't like saying this as it does sound racist, (which I most certainly am not), but surely the true depressing picture for Blackburn is that over a third of the population now have their own communities and the money circulates around them. Where have the old Blackburnians gone, I'll tell you. Go to Chorley, Leyland and of course Preston and you will most certainly bump into your family or friends from Blackburn spending their money. Hence the drain on the town's retailing community. The only time you see all members of the Blackburn population together in the town is when the sales are on, i.e. Next, M&S etc. The outlook I feel is bleak for Blackburn. We need reinventing, new name perhaps, how about NEWBURN for a name. The politicians and local council have a lot to answer for, but will they? will they eck!!!!![/p][/quote]Its not a racist remark at all Impartial, the fact is that pubs in areas of blackburn that experienced white flight have also closed down, pubs that enjoyed many years of pint pulling for the locals. The reason why Mercers is closing is because it's stock line up no-longer matches up with the locals tastes or depth of pocket. It's sad to see it go but maybe it's for the best. Surely that side of town will get better when the new college buildings are completed. Hopefully the Mercers building can contribute to Blackburn in other ways. I think it's likely to become a pub or restaurant if it sells.[/p][/quote]More pubs have closed because of the smoking ban! there isnt any other reason besides that!! sofia
  • Score: 0

10:29pm Fri 9 Jan 09

Rousey says...

I for one, used to, and I emphasise USED to, enjoy shopping in Blackburn's town centre, but now have very little to do with the place (never mind spend any money there).

I am Blackburn, born and bred, but here is literally no viable reason to shop in 'The Mall' with Manchester, Liverpool and even Preston within 40 minutes travelling.

Thinking about it, the sole reason to drive into town is 'Ernestos', once he retires, then that will be the final death knell.

Any comments?
I for one, used to, and I emphasise USED to, enjoy shopping in Blackburn's town centre, but now have very little to do with the place (never mind spend any money there). I am Blackburn, born and bred, but here is literally no viable reason to shop in 'The Mall' with Manchester, Liverpool and even Preston within 40 minutes travelling. Thinking about it, the sole reason to drive into town is 'Ernestos', once he retires, then that will be the final death knell. Any comments? Rousey
  • Score: 0

10:41pm Fri 9 Jan 09

Cuttingsky says...

A joke I heard recently can be amended to sum the thoughts people have of our council in my opinion.
There was a terrible traffic jam recently on the Blackburn orbital ring road. It was grid locked for ages. Everyone got out of their cars to see what was happening. A person ran down the side of everyones cars informing all the motorists that there was a group of activists holding every BWDBC Councillor hostage threating to douse them in petrol and set them alight unless the good people of BWD paid a ransom of ten million pounds. When asked what the average was that people were donating he replied "a gallon" Serious though this is a shame. The only items we will be able to buy without leaving Blackburn is either a mobile telephone or a pair of glasses or perhaps a package holiday.
A joke I heard recently can be amended to sum the thoughts people have of our council in my opinion. There was a terrible traffic jam recently on the Blackburn orbital ring road. It was grid locked for ages. Everyone got out of their cars to see what was happening. A person ran down the side of everyones cars informing all the motorists that there was a group of activists holding every BWDBC Councillor hostage threating to douse them in petrol and set them alight unless the good people of BWD paid a ransom of ten million pounds. When asked what the average was that people were donating he replied "a gallon" Serious though this is a shame. The only items we will be able to buy without leaving Blackburn is either a mobile telephone or a pair of glasses or perhaps a package holiday. Cuttingsky
  • Score: 0

1:08am Sat 10 Jan 09

pip pip! says...

Rousey wrote:
Thinking about it, the sole reason to drive into town is 'Ernestos', once he retires, then that will be the final death knell.

Any comments?

And I thought I was the only one just going into Blackburn for my haircut.
I prefer Mr Stones, though.
Rousey wrote: Thinking about it, the sole reason to drive into town is 'Ernestos', once he retires, then that will be the final death knell. Any comments? And I thought I was the only one just going into Blackburn for my haircut. I prefer Mr Stones, though. pip pip!
  • Score: 0

10:36am Sat 10 Jan 09

Impartial says...

sofia wrote:
Impartial wrote:
I don't like saying this as it does sound racist, (which I most certainly am not), but surely the true depressing picture for Blackburn is that over a third of the population now have their own communities and the money circulates around them. Where have the old Blackburnians gone, I'll tell you. Go to Chorley, Leyland and of course Preston and you will most certainly bump into your family or friends from Blackburn spending their money. Hence the drain on the town's retailing community. The only time you see all members of the Blackburn population together in the town is when the sales are on, i.e. Next, M&S etc. The outlook I feel is bleak for Blackburn. We need reinventing, new name perhaps, how about NEWBURN for a name. The politicians and local council have a lot to answer for, but will they? will they eck!!!!!
What a stupid comment to make?? so its the ethnice minioritys fault the country has gone into recession??

Im asian myself and i was shopping in mercers only last week!! If u feel that bad for the store why dont u go and spend all ur wage or ur jobseekers allowance in the store??
I am sorry to say your comment is even more stupid. Just for your info,I have never claimed job seekers allowance in my life, I have WORKED AND PAID TAXES AND CONTRIBUTED TO THE NHS for 40 years. Oh, and I have always shopped at Mercers. The fact remains that a there are two Blackburns and they DON'T mix.
[quote][p][bold]sofia[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Impartial[/bold] wrote: I don't like saying this as it does sound racist, (which I most certainly am not), but surely the true depressing picture for Blackburn is that over a third of the population now have their own communities and the money circulates around them. Where have the old Blackburnians gone, I'll tell you. Go to Chorley, Leyland and of course Preston and you will most certainly bump into your family or friends from Blackburn spending their money. Hence the drain on the town's retailing community. The only time you see all members of the Blackburn population together in the town is when the sales are on, i.e. Next, M&S etc. The outlook I feel is bleak for Blackburn. We need reinventing, new name perhaps, how about NEWBURN for a name. The politicians and local council have a lot to answer for, but will they? will they eck!!!!![/p][/quote]What a stupid comment to make?? so its the ethnice minioritys fault the country has gone into recession?? Im asian myself and i was shopping in mercers only last week!! If u feel that bad for the store why dont u go and spend all ur wage or ur jobseekers allowance in the store?? [/p][/quote]I am sorry to say your comment is even more stupid. Just for your info,I have never claimed job seekers allowance in my life, I have WORKED AND PAID TAXES AND CONTRIBUTED TO THE NHS for 40 years. Oh, and I have always shopped at Mercers. The fact remains that a there are two Blackburns and they DON'T mix. Impartial
  • Score: 0

12:36pm Sat 10 Jan 09

Gill Bates says...

am writing to express my dismay and concern about the news that broke locally yesterday about the proposed closure of Mercer's shop. Whilst recognising these are hard financial times and every business needs to break even/may a profit, I feel very strongly that this loss of this independent store is catastrophic - not only for the staff (who are fantastic - polite and helpful), but for the town.

Mercers is one of the few places in the town, where you can find out of the ordinary items. Over the past 25 years of living in Blackburn, Mercers has been available not only to buy toys for birhdays and Christmas that it is difficult to get anywhere else; but also their hardware, fancy goods and cockery sections stock unusual items - perfect for that special or unusual gift. You can still buy the screw etc by number rather than packs of 25 or 50 which will never be needed again.

Mercers runs a Christmas club, enabling parents to save through the year to buy at Christmas. Surely in our current financial situation we should be celebrating and advertising these kinds of schemes, so that people don't spend money they don't have and can't afford to pay back in the New Year.

I'm sure part of the problem is the 'new, improved' road system - living within the town this is no improvement at all. It is difficult to access the town centre in any logical way. If you are buying large items - you have the problem of having to carry them huge distances to your vehicle. another reason to keep Mercers - at least they have a 10 minute parking area at the rear of the store.

It would appear that the council has invested heavily other areas of the town to the deteriment of Northgate -the old Exchange Hall is still standing empty apart from Papa Luigi's; the old Police Station still hasn't got any function.

I firmly believe that we need to retain independent stores otherwise Blackburn will become a clone of other town centres

am writing to express my dismay and concern about the news that broke locally yesterday about the proposed closure of Mercer's shop. Whilst recognising these are hard financial times and every business needs to break even/may a profit, I feel very strongly that this loss of this independent store is catastrophic - not only for the staff (who are fantastic - polite and helpful), but for the town. Mercers is one of the few places in the town, where you can find out of the ordinary items. Over the past 25 years of living in Blackburn, Mercers has been available not only to buy toys for birhdays and Christmas that it is difficult to get anywhere else; but also their hardware, fancy goods and cockery sections stock unusual items - perfect for that special or unusual gift. You can still buy the screw etc by number rather than packs of 25 or 50 which will never be needed again. Mercers runs a Christmas club, enabling parents to save through the year to buy at Christmas. Surely in our current financial situation we should be celebrating and advertising these kinds of schemes, so that people don't spend money they don't have and can't afford to pay back in the New Year. I'm sure part of the problem is the 'new, improved' road system - living within the town this is no improvement at all. It is difficult to access the town centre in any logical way. If you are buying large items - you have the problem of having to carry them huge distances to your vehicle. another reason to keep Mercers - at least they have a 10 minute parking area at the rear of the store. It would appear that the council has invested heavily other areas of the town to the deteriment of Northgate -the old Exchange Hall is still standing empty apart from Papa Luigi's; the old Police Station still hasn't got any function. I firmly believe that we need to retain independent stores otherwise Blackburn will become a clone of other town centres Gill Bates
  • Score: 0

7:13pm Sat 10 Jan 09

Hugh Jardon says...

pip pip! wrote:
Rousey wrote:
Thinking about it, the sole reason to drive into town is 'Ernestos', once he retires, then that will be the final death knell.

Any comments?

And I thought I was the only one just going into Blackburn for my haircut.
I prefer Mr Stones, though.
Nope..you're the fourth...if you include my middle son!
I've had the misfortune of spending a few hours in 'town' today...(but did get my curly locks sorted, thanks JS).
Even the pound shop is selling some tat at 50p. Says it all doesn't it!!!
[quote][p][bold]pip pip![/bold] wrote: Rousey wrote: Thinking about it, the sole reason to drive into town is 'Ernestos', once he retires, then that will be the final death knell. Any comments? And I thought I was the only one just going into Blackburn for my haircut. I prefer Mr Stones, though. [/p][/quote]Nope..you're the fourth...if you include my middle son! I've had the misfortune of spending a few hours in 'town' today...(but did get my curly locks sorted, thanks JS). Even the pound shop is selling some tat at 50p. Says it all doesn't it!!! Hugh Jardon
  • Score: 0

5:01am Sun 11 Jan 09

dbags says...

Its seems pretty sad that when a business such as Mercers announces that the Retail side of the business is closing we see posts like DannyP87. We have been told that part of the reason for the stores demise is the terrible road system. This tells only part of the truth. The retail sector is very fickle and like any other business can be influenced by any number of factors. We all know what is happening in the economy at the moment, the cheap competition on the internet (low overheads), and the ever changing way we shop ourselves. So is it any wonder that a business that has been going for 169 years has announced this. It is really good to see the support that Mercers has on this column, but it is money not sentiment that keeps a business going and this is the harsh reality of it all.

I would also just like to say that its very easy to criticise and think that the obvious solution is to "make it into a pub" but the board of directors would have looked at all possible options (they can't lay off 20 odd people without following due process!). Its a 169 year old family business so this must be very difficult for the owners to come to this conclusion. At the end of the of day if its not going to make money, why would you keep it open.

With the amount of support on here it would be good to help Merecrs go out in style.
Its seems pretty sad that when a business such as Mercers announces that the Retail side of the business is closing we see posts like DannyP87. We have been told that part of the reason for the stores demise is the terrible road system. This tells only part of the truth. The retail sector is very fickle and like any other business can be influenced by any number of factors. We all know what is happening in the economy at the moment, the cheap competition on the internet (low overheads), and the ever changing way we shop ourselves. So is it any wonder that a business that has been going for 169 years has announced this. It is really good to see the support that Mercers has on this column, but it is money not sentiment that keeps a business going and this is the harsh reality of it all. I would also just like to say that its very easy to criticise and think that the obvious solution is to "make it into a pub" but the board of directors would have looked at all possible options (they can't lay off 20 odd people without following due process!). Its a 169 year old family business so this must be very difficult for the owners to come to this conclusion. At the end of the of day if its not going to make money, why would you keep it open. With the amount of support on here it would be good to help Merecrs go out in style. dbags
  • Score: 0

3:48pm Tue 13 Jan 09

Robbie says...

i dont live in blackburn anymore, but its truely gutting to see that such a major shop of blackburn is closing.

it will be missed
i dont live in blackburn anymore, but its truely gutting to see that such a major shop of blackburn is closing. it will be missed Robbie
  • Score: 0
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