The High Street. Once the hub of the community, the place to go for all of your groceries and meet up with friends. Fast forward to 2018 and the High Street is still there but it is feeling a little bit abandoned.
It's nobody's fault, times have changed. But if we want to keep this important element of every town in the country we're going to have to do a bit of work. We're going to have to do it very soon.
Not a week goes by lately when we're told of a big retail name announcing that they're having trading troubles. These are big players and household names - iconic brands including British Home Stores, Littlewoods and Woolworths have long gone. And now with companies such as Maplin and Toys 'R' Us about to disappear and stores like Claire's Accessories and even House of Fraser on shaky ground, there's a real sense of major transition out there.
Retail and shopping habits have changed a lot, even in the last ten years alone. There are many reasons that the experts tell us are the cause - the internet is generally one of them, combined with the rising costs of simply running a business.
It's not all bad though. Your High Street is open for business. Between the closed down empty units, our independent retailers and service providers are the little gems shining through this difficult trading period. We need your help now more than ever.
You can't fix the parking or the price of public transport but what you can do is support your local shops. Even if just for one day a month. Every pound spent at an independent business goes straight back in to the local economy. Here at Hamiedog we use local suppliers. When you shop with us you are the link in a chain of local love. And that's the same for many of the other retailers and service providers in Whitley Bay.
There is a lot happening in the old place - which is soon to become the new place when the regeneration work at the Spanish City site is complete! We can't tell you how much it means to us when you shop with us. We love meeting you all, we love chatting with you and hearing about what you've been up to. Please don't stop.