Traders 'still want St Helier'

THE economy might be struggling but there is no shortage of businesses looking to trade in the town centre, according to St Helier Constable Simon Crowcroft.

Jersey's HMV shop in King Street
Jersey's HMV shop in King Street

THE economy might be struggling but there is no shortage of businesses looking to trade in the town centre, according to St Helier Constable Simon Crowcroft.

Camera store Jessops closed down last week, shoe shop Barratts is about to close its store in King Street, and there is uncertainty over HMV’s future over the announcement that the company is going into administration, but Mr Crowcroft says that he is ‘cautiously optimistic’ about retail in St Helier.

He said that as long as rents were reasonable, there was still strong demand to trade in King Street and Queen Street.

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Comments for: "Traders 'still want St Helier'"

Old Crappo

since when have rents in St. Helier ever been reasonable Mr. Crowcroft?

I think again that Mr. Crowcroft is trying to out spin the Spin Master, the Boy Ozouf!.

Sorry I've got to go as all this spinning is making me dizzy!!


where can i get my racing post ehh wot

James Wiley

The please get us more parking in St Helier.

A nice multi-storey car park in La Motte Street would be perfect, it should be built on the site of the SS department.

And get on and build a multi-storey car park in Ann St 35 residents against, 80,000 people for. Isn't that the way democracy works?

With these two extra car parks there should be enough space.


No more pound shops please

Far Below Ruby

Why not? I look forward to everything (or multiples thereof) being £1.

And I mean everything!


Shame about the timing, HMV would have fitted intot he Barratt's old shop nicely!

gino risoli

Yes Simon,

but rents are falling in some cases by almost 50%. Now that will keep the money in the economy rather than landlords trust accounts.


mabey we should open a few keebab shops then


What a silly headline, yes traders want to trade but we all no that. More and more shops are closing and if it happens in the UK it will happen in Jersey too. As long as rents were reasonable, may I laugh. It's hard enough for the individual in Jersey to keep prices down and the only way to sell cheap is if you are a franchise, but even they're struggling. I wanted to start a business in St Helier at one point and rental prices scared me off. 2nd problem was bringing different products to the Island at a low cost. I did the math and it was clear this won't happen.

Mrs Slocombe's Cat

It's amazing how all those shops having difficulties are within 50 yards of the locally famous haberdashery - maybe if they took some ideas from the window displays used by them then these big chains wouldn't have suffered so much..

After all if you can get people going into your shop using the same tea towels and fabrics on display as used in the 70's then what's the point of flashy advertising?


I don't know the figures but I'd hazard a guess that the haberdashery would be long gone if it were paying the rents demanded of non-owner businesses.

The Complainer

Well maybe the landlords, if they can't fill the shops should make their own shops. Get some "shopkeeper" to run a shop on their behalf. The landlord gets a cut, the shop keeper gets a cut. Competitive good business ideas would be encouraged by this and it would stimulate trade. So landlords would not make as much, but its got to be better than making nothing from a vacant shop.


PMSL! Beauty.

Maybe one factor in favour of the long established shop is they offer genuine customer service, nothing is too much trouble. Customer is King!

kirk bannerman

what plant does Mr Crowcroft live on when have rents in St Helier ever been reasonable????


He wouldn't have a clue as he's never run a retail business.


they are reasonable its just down to the rain


Perhaps Si needs to get together with Dave so they can decide which story is right !!!


As long as rents were reasonable...when has this been so?

Retail is all but dead in th water now the internet has come to the local customers aid.


I am afraid the Jersey populas have pretty much got fed up with being ripped off by Jersey Retailers. I mate of mine bought a flat screen TV the other day from Amazon for £220.00 (It is a big TV) delivered to his door within 24 hours. JEC price for same product £480.00 and a two week wait. It is a no brainer. Everyone apart from woman who actually enjoy shopping which is fair enough if that is your bag just shop online now.


I am just waiting delivery of new washing machine from John Lewis. Free delivery, VAT refunded after its been delivered, £369. Same model in CoOp £489. enough said. Sorry, I forgot, extra 1 year guarantee from JL as well as manufacturers. What we need here is a John Lewis department store


Me too. I just received my Samsung 46in LCD delivered free to my door without VAT, all for the price of £329 from Curry's. Wholesale Electrics equivalent £760, Euronics £649. A massive massive difference. Just also ordered a new washing machine and tumble dryer in the sale for £399 for both. JEC, same models bought together, offered no discount, £678. Enough said.


Yup I bought a laptop just before Xmas from DABS for £220 delivered free. Same laptop in JEC is £320 and that is the SALE price with £50 off, incredible!


I see you all did your 'research' in the local stores before buying on the internet. Did you pay for the service the local stores gave you, or did you just steal their knowledge and time?


When I walk in to shop and

1. See if they stock what I want

2. Look at the price

3. Usually leave at this point

What service exactly should I be paying for? I didn't speak to anyone, I didn't ask for any advice, I didn't try out the product.

Before online shopping walking around a few shops to compare prices was not frowned upon. That's why shops display their goods and prices, no?

At least I go and look to see if I can afford to think twice and buy local. Sadly the majority of time I cannot.


I've said it before and I'll say it again; if local traders don't get their act together they will go the way of Jessops, Barrats etc.

Some other random thoughts on retail...

Crowcroft should be putting pressure on, or incentivising, the landlords to reduce rents on vacant premises to encourage local traders to expand.

UK-owned businesses should be forced to deduct VAT from their prices rather pocketing the difference.

Locally-owned traders don't have the financial clout that their UK counterparts have with the result that King/Queen St is an identikit model of any UK high street. The more chain stores we get here, the more exposed we are to the vagaries of the UK retail market. Young entrepeneurs should be encouraged by Chamber of Commerce or similar to create pop-up shops to learn the ropes of trade.

I tried to support local as much as possible but unfortunately poor service is letting me down time and again.

Simple Sid

Well he would say that wouldn't he.

r snart

I always buy from internet so much cheaper and more choice


best way more choice and 50% cheaper


People is know have just had enough, the high street has little true choice and then there's the mystery shipping tax on top of everything. When I went to the market a few months ago to get some replacement wheels for my sons scalextric the man I'm the shoo actually said "just look online everyone else does". So guess what I did and didn't get the attitude which so many give.

I feel bad for the staff at these places especially when the public scream at them like my girlfriend saw today.

The price and choice is why people don't shop on the high street. GST didn't help when books suddenly had tax and where cheaper In the uk. Word to the powers that be, when your population stops reading the general ignorance increases.


I heard the chief executive director of HMV say on national news that he still thought HMV had 'a future'. Well they have royally screwed their loyal customer base with worthless gift vouchers. Which of them will ever buy there again, if it survives? Certainly not I. He said that the vouchers were 'sold in good faith'. He still doesn't get it, does he? The vouchers were BOUGHT in good faith. The man is totally out of touch with the customer's viewpoint. He is a disaster. No wonder the company failed!


What would happen if the owner of one of these gift vouchers went into HMV, picked something to the value of the voucher and then handed the voucher to the cashier before walking out of the shop with the item?

They wouldn't have stolen the item because it had been prepaid for and surely no crime would have been committed.

Surely if HMV refuse to honour the vouchers, they are stealing from the owner of the voucher.


It is surprising how many people on UK websites are making exactly the same comment. Some are promising to try it! We will see....


No more coffee shops or pound shops, Mr crowcoft lives in different Jersey to us as we have less less shops less english speaking people working in them to chat about local life. Maybe Jesey folk are sick of it all But then this is a constable who has traffic all going the same way making access to town a nightmare. Bring back free parking in town streets PLEASE brng life back to St Helier.You now don't hear the flurry of footsteps at lunch time . Mr Crowcroft get out of your warm office and walk the town every store holder will have suggestions for you.

Seedee Jons

Mr Crowcroft says he is "cautiously optimistic" about retail in St Helier.

This phrase is often used by politicians.

It means "I believe things will turn out well, so I want credit for having the wisdom to predict it. But I don't have the courage to say so out loud, so if everything falls apart, I want credit for having the wisdom to be cautious."

Please Mr Crowcroft stop using political "spin" and admit things are bad for retail in St Helier,I moved my business out of town 10 years ago because of high rents in St Helier and the situation hasn't changed !

Many of my contemporaries still retailing in town are struggling to stay in business.


Outsider has it bang on! These issues have been pushed under the carpet for years by the Chamber of Commerce! Along with rent control, we could have a thriving high street without having to rely on UK chains!


Amazon will deliver a 15kg bag of cat litter to my door for free, without VAT. Total delivered price is about £10 / 25% cheaper than the best price on island.

How they can deliver a big sack weighing 15Kg for free is beyond me, but they do!!!

If you're ever in the market for expensive eletrical goods such as vacuum cleaner, TV, white goods etc the savings online are massive. Delivery is often quicker and specifically amazon's customer service / returns process is far less stressful than my experience of local suppliers.

I don't like doing it and would rather spend locally but I simply cannot afford to anymore.


I don't understand how they do it either. If I buy specialist items on the internet from other companies, I always have to ask about the cost to Jersey. Sometimes it is standard Royal Mail prices, other times much much more. Some refuse to send stuff to Jersey altogether-- and these different responses can all be for the same type of item! I got quoted £30 last year for 3 small packs of spring bulbs! I am totally baffled by the way different companies apply postage/carriage charges to Jersey.

UK Student

Depends if they use a courier, but Royal Mail costs exactly the same to send to Jersey as other UK destinations.

I've phoned retailers up and told them this in the past, along with the fact they have to deduct VAT. If they want the sale, they'll oblige. Otherwise go elsewhere.

Stan Le Main

if the landlords or whoever owns these shops on the high street lowered their rents then more businesses might want to trade from them. it is better to have some rents rather than leaving the shops empty. Wouldnt it be good if mr mackenzie or mr crowcroft started to talk to new businesses and tried to negotiate a special price for them to operate in the high street - especially good for local genuine jersey shops - then at least we would know they were sympathetic


Will we see landlords allowing their premises to be used for pop-up shops to allow locally produced goods to be sold on the high street, or to allow some small charities to have a shop front for a limited time.

The future

The value of a property is based on rental income if you dropped the rent you could in theory get into negative equity.


I note all the arguments above about the prices in the shops, and rents. Clearly, I have heard before all the statements by David Warr and the like about the cost of getting things to the island. I just wonder how Waterstones survives, since it charges the price on the book plus GST (no VAT on books in the UK, I think). Anyone care to enlighten me?