Too many supermarkets, says trader

Reporter:

Staff reporter (Border Counties)

An Oswestry businessman has reiterated his concern about the future of the town centre after the council revealed fewer people were using its car parks.

Yossi Gliksman, owner of Upstairs Downstairs, said there had been a steady decline in the town’s footfall for the past two years.

And he claimed the addition of supermarkets and the associated free parking had made things worse.

“Not only do these budget supermarkets not complement our town, but they are also taking away from businesses in the town,” he said.

“Business owners in Oswestry always said the supermarkets would be detrimental to the town centre, and now I think it is too late. We should declare saturation because of these supermarkets.”

Takings from the Central, Smithfield and Horsemarket car parks are down from last year, the town council has reported.

The largest decrease in takings has been from Central car park which decreased by 2.4 per cent from the previous year.

The local authority also expressed concerns that new supermarkets such as Lidl and Aldi were detracting from town businesses, and that more people were taking advantage of free parking out of town.

“We will never win against free parking,” said Mr Gliksman.

“I think it is now time to open our eyes to see the massive decline in this town and to do something about it.”

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