06 February, 2014

The Esprit closure calls for an open-mindedness

La fermeture du magasin Esprit le 15 mars prochain appelle peut être à réviser un certain nombre d'idées sur la manière de revitaliser le commerce de centre ville. Le stationnement est-il responsable de tout?

The difficulties of down town stores are always discernable. Located in the Fleur d'eau commercial centre, the Esprit shop announced that it will close its doors definitively on March 15th. About ten employees should loose their jobs. This is not the first time trade business faces difficulties in that facility. A few months ago, Planet Saturn had decided to leave Fleur d'eau, a commercial complex opened in 2005 which followed another one Les Halles itself closed in 2003 for lack of customers.

That news questions about the viability of the commercial gallery two candidates to Angers mayor office plan to set up in the current post office. Several reasons to such a loss of interest for shopping in down town may be put forward. The most commonly claimed is the difficulty and the cost for parking cars in streets or in car parks. Several times, retail stores owners and even commercial chains have pointed out the negative impact of the parking fares on their business.

But that could not be the only explanation. And the Angers representatives are not necessarily the responsibles. The huge attendance of Angers down town stores during December months demonstrates that the parking is not the only obstacle to the growth of business. A candidate has even recently suggested that buses and tramways should be free during weekends in order to contain the car traffic in the core of Angers.

It is possible that the weakening of the down town attractiveness be also due to a lack of animations, unappropriate schedules, incomprehensible days of closure which deter consumers to come in. The stimulation of commerce doesn't only depends on structures. What could be the interest of a new commercial gallery if that one is closed when customers are available?

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