Alright everyone? Hope you all had a great Earth day, as well as a particularly patriotic St. Georges day. However today is Tuesday, and the topic of conversation is very different and has been all day. As a matter of fact I’ve been talking about this for a while and if you recently read my article about shopping local then you’ll have a bit of an idea about my thoughts on retail and consumerism.
But Lincoln is rapidly becoming a joke of a city as more and more retail units lie empty, bars and restaurants shut down and business’s struggle. It was announced today that completely out of the blue Cote French Brasserie on Lincoln high street had closed and moving was already in the process. No warning, no announcement, just a big “fuck you and see you later Lincoln, you’ve been useless”. Now as far as I’m aware Cote has actually been doing well as far as customers through the door and the reason behind closing is still somewhat of a mystery. However, when you begin to look at how many other places are shutting down and disappearing, it’s quite alarming. It was only recently that House of Tiago, Lincoln’s completely unwanted Brazilian buffet shut down after it received poor hygiene ratings, we’ve seen Toys R Us close across the country of which we have a unit on Tritton road. Speaking of Tritton road, we’re also saying goodbye to Carpet Right, Homebase, Maplin and then just off the University bridge Chimichangas Mexican restaurant. THIS IS CRAZY.
Buildings are being built or renovated and infrastructure is being improved all over the city as well as a brilliantly modern and fresh looking transport hub which has began to transform the area around the train station but WHY? Whats the point? The High street is a complete embarrassment after St.Marks Square and shouldn’t even be considered the High street at all anyway. We’ve got that many empty units and redundant spaces that there is no need at all to be building anything. The city is becoming a joke and soon the transport hub will be just as useless because there’s nothing here anymore!
What’s to blame. Well of course I’ve had a scan through the comments sections on The Lincolnite and Lincolnshire Live which are both always sources for intellectual debate and scientific analysis… and found a plethora of different reasons, such as the issue of high-priced parking. Which I must say, I just don’t agree with. There’s transport links for all over the city and in fact I don’t even live in Lincoln and still manage to find myself in town every single week either paying reasonable prices in city centre car parks or on the train which is also dirt cheap. So no, I’m not buying that one I’m afraid. I’ve heard that people don’t have the money to go out for dinner or to bars or to pay High street prices, but the fact of the matter is that Lincoln is cheaper than most other places and everywhere else in the country manages just fine. Not everyone does have a disposable income, but Lincoln’s pricing is as low as it gets. Something needs to change and something has to be done, and I do hope that Lincolnshire County Council are as alarmed as me and many others in the Lincoln area are. However, the truth I would say is that you either use it or lose it and people in Lincoln just don’t use it. This one might well be on us, the consumer. Now I’m not a supporter of consumerism, I don’t believe people “need” half the things they say they do and there’s a much cheaper, more satisfying and possibly healthier life out there for everyone if we shun the traditions of the western world and stop gathering pointless tat to validate our lives. BUT, local economy relies on the customer and if you’re not supporting it at all, you’ll lose it. If you do all your shopping over the internet because you “just hate crowds” then the crowds won’t exist anymore. Keep it local, use your money and your time wisely. Keep your own economy strong, you do have the power to do it. By the same token, the business’s need to up their game, because it would seem that even in Lincoln, good isn’t good enough and complacency could lead to loss of livelihood. It’s time to rally together and make a change.
Sad times in Lincoln, let’s just see what happens next.