High street blues

photo(2) photo(4)Emmer Green may be a minor district of Reading but even its few shops illustrate the turmoil in the high street.

Over the years it has lost its only bank, it’s independent butcher, it’s laundrette,  newsagent and a Post Office, though the latter has been replaced.

But now the former Balfour newsagent, after years of laying empty, has been replaced by the hairdressers from next door which expanded into this bigger and better unit. It’s old unit has a planning application for a beauticians. Meanwhile across the road in Milestone Way, Blockbuster is about to go.

Of the few shops to survive the last quarter of a century here, there is the Budgen supermarket and the Coral betting shop, formerly Taylors.

Whenever  a shop goes nowadays you fear all you’ll get is another of the latest trend. Twenty years ago it was estate agents. Now it’s hairdressers, charity shops and tattooists.

I hope the Blockbuster unit goes to a business that has a general, rather than a niche market. I won’t be asking Corals for odds on that though.



About Alan Bunce

Freelance journalist Former Community Editor with the Reading Post. Former Business Editor with the Reading Chronicle.
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