‘Let’s all work together for a vibrant St Helier’

- Advertisement -

Vicky Trehorel said the example set by businesses co-operating at the Weighbridge so that bars could be reopened should be followed as the hospitality industry attempts to bounce back from the financial challenges of the past couple of months.

However, she also warned that gaps could appear in the high street, with a number of large UK retailers expected to enter administration.

Last week, it was announced that Monsoon Accessorize – which has two outlets in Jersey – was expected to appoint administrators.

And it has now been reported that the business – owned by British businessman Peter Simon – has warned landlords that they have a week to offer rent waivers or it will permanently close down stores.

Jersey’s Monsoon store in Queen Street is adjacent to the former Next premises, which has been vacant since the chain moved into its new property in New Street in 2017.

Meanwhile, Mini Mall – a minimal-impact sustainable supermarket – and Brummells, a high-end menswear store in Halkett Street, have both announced they are to close.

And Laura Ashley, which has a franchise store in Liberty Wharf – operated by SandpiperCI – has gone into administration. However, SandpiperCI have said the store could still reopen if a buyer for UK business is found.

Ms Trehorel also revealed that businesses in the hospitality industry – one of the hardest-hit sectors – were now working together to conform to regulations regarding the serving of food with alcohol.

‘I was down at the Weighbridge yesterday and I was talking to Ce Soir [a cocktail bar], who have collaborated with Pizza Projekt. But also that whole row are working together – you have got everyone from the Troubadour down – you have got Liberation, Randalls, independent providers and pop-up providers coming together and saying, “We cannot function financially without the support of others, so let’s make this happen”,’ she said.

‘The atmosphere down there is so wonderful. It is a very responsible, Covid-safe environment but it is also a little taste of normality, which is what I think everyone needs right now.

‘That collaboration has done that. So, something as simple as businesses saying, “We need each other to survive, so let’s throw caution to the wind and let’s get into this” – that is the future right there. That is what Jersey could be like for all industries – tourism, hospitality, retail.

‘If we can all collaborate in that way and come up with some great ways to survive, first and foremost, then that will be an Island that I am proud of.’

She added that further collaborations were beginning to be formed and that working together was a ‘lifeline’ for some smaller businesses.

‘There is a bar and a new food retailer on the high street who are now collaborating,’ she said. ‘I will not give you their names just yet because they have just started the ball rolling.

‘Again, it is a bar that cannot open because it does not serve food and it is a food outlet that cannot open because they do not have enough of a restaurant area, so they are relying entirely on takeaways.’

‘It is a lifeline for businesses right now and that is what we should be doing. Jersey businesses should be saying: “We are here to support you. What can we do and how can get you back open safely?” ’

And Ms Trehorel said it was important for central St Helier businesses to look ahead to ensure that town was attractive and safe for consumers.

‘There has been a concern throughout this pandemic that our high street is going to suffer for a great number of reasons – both the big-name brand and local stores,’ she said.

‘From my perspective, the focus right now is working on what we can do to make town better and safer, so that people do come back and we will not see any further closures. We have an opportunity to look at what Jersey looks like going forward. We have an opportunity to understand what the Island needs from us [retailers] and what we need to provide to bring tourism back, when it is safe to do so.

‘For me, the focus is how we make ourselves appealing to other brands and how we make ourselves sustainable for businesses that are here and trying to keep our high street alive.’

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest Stories

- Advertisement -

UK News

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Read the latest free supplements

Read the Town Crier, Le Rocher and a whole host of other subjects like mortgage advice, business, cycling, travel and property.