Thursday, 23 July 2009

Culture Shock! Shopping Hours in Morpeth

Well - so the refurbished Sanderson Arcade will open on Nov 12th, with the new M&S and the town centre car park opening a couple of months earlier.

I gather that the Arcade will be open 9am-8pm Mon-Sat and 11am-5pm on Sundays - which will come as a bit of a shock to the independent shopkeepers on Bridge St and Newgate who are struggling to cope with 9am-5pm Mon-Fri and 9am-2pm on Sat. Of course the supermarkets and some chain stores already open long hours, seven days a week.

Morpeth is already busy at weekends - especially with summer visitors - so maybe we need a bit of a rethink about the best times to open, though I know it is difficult for small shopkeepers and coffee shops to cover long opening hours.

However - having shops open till 8pm will help towards filling the notorious 'dead zone' between the shops closing at 5pm and Morpeth's 'evening economy' starting up around 7pm.

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