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Sunday, 21 December 2014

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Hoopers to close Carlisle department store

One of Carlisle’s most iconic city centre department stores, Hoopers, is to close after it failed to turn around losses running into six figures.

Have your say

I think mr Thornton is right. The lag between what a property is worth to rent (and its subsequent rates) are calculated at the peak of the boom and don't decrease to reflect the reduction in trading and value of the properties.

To the poster blaming car parking. There are many providers of car parking in Carlisle. However Cumbria county council operate a disk zone around the city offering thousands of free parking spaces for between one hour and two. There are no other cities in the country that has this kind of free parking.
Free car parking is not the solution. If it was the lanes would have offered it years ago.

Oh, and occupancy rates are amongst the best in the north west. With Hoopers leading the Business Improvement District it is clear that this decision was unexpected and came from the top.

Those blaming 'the council' are foolish.

Posted by Jim on 8 May 2012 at 11:48

Those who love to shop elsewhere and only use local shops when in a hurry are part of the problem for local retailers, they can hardly justify keeping stores open for such shoppers.If people add the cost of travel to Manchester etc to the price of things bought do they ever save much? Perhaps the type of merchandise sold by Hoppers is too up market for many locals, we can only hope future businesses find a happy medium between the very expensive and the ridiculously cheap. As mentioned in an earlier post, very cheap clothes can be a false economy as they have no durability. Wash and throw away is not a good plan for children's clothing.
It would be interesting to know how much trade was lost by Hoopers whilst the Castle Street "improvements" were underway, and how much trade lost through lack of immediate on street parking?

Posted by V on 8 May 2012 at 11:41

i can hardly believe what i,m reading some lunatic blaming the labour council who have been in place for all of 5 days... give them time they,ll do worse than this .... & some snob who does,nt want chavs anywhere near our cathederal... No ! far better to just board it up & let it become another stinky rat infested mess just like the lonsdale... which incidentally the new labour council want to pull down & the tory/lib dems wanted to keep... it just goes to show you can please some of the people some of the time... except in carlisle where you can,t please anybody, especially the ones who twitter on about shops closing when they don,t even set foot in them.

Posted by petethegreet on 8 May 2012 at 11:39

i can hardly believe what i,m reading some lunatic blaming the labour council who have been in place for all of 5 days... give them time they,ll do worse than this .... & some snob who does,nt want chavs anywhere near our cathederal... No ! far better to just board it up & let it become another stinky rat infested mess just like the lonsdale... which incidentally the new labour council want to pull down & the tory/lib dems wanted to keep... it just goes to show you can please some of the people some of the time... except in carlisle where you can,t please anybody, especially the ones who twitter on about shops closing when they don,t even set foot in them.

Posted by petethegreet on 8 May 2012 at 11:38

Sadly, this will not be the last time this year we have such news. This is sypmtomatic of a city which for years has been behind the curve in terms of econominc and cultural regeneration. A failure to bring in cutting edge technical and creative industry in step with other parts of the UK means that there is less retail business to be had. On top of this a failure over many years to grasp what it takes to make the most of the Cities historical attributes have rendered it, at best, a quick stop for tourists on the way somewhere else. Carlisle has an always will have a small town, insular mentality. I better times we got away with this, sadly now things are getting financially tighter Carlisle is falling away due to years of complaceny within it's political leaders.Sure, there are issues in other areas of the UK, but this City had tremedous potential for inward investment which has been wasted by those who failed to take notice of what thier more creative and forward thinking counterparts were doing elsewhere

Posted by Gary Dewhurst on 8 May 2012 at 11:31

Sadly another store bites the dust. An old building that needed updating and one wonders how many customers tried out the clothes etc and then bought on line. In regard to rent levels as already mentioned they are far to high for the current market. However as I understand it if a landlord drops rents for one property it can affect the remaining portfolio of properties and therefore reduce his income in the future.
What for the future of Hoopers..what about extending Tullie House Museum to the building..they have lots of pieces that never see the light of day..

Posted by paul on 8 May 2012 at 11:28

Not good for Carlisle that Hoopers are closing, A really good quality shop, selling quality items!
I shop their but they are also a client of my business although they do not spend significant amounts it is more lost business.
What will replace them? Primark?

Local shoppers who want to buy quality products will now go to Newcastle, Manchester or Glasgow.

Posted by Andrew on 8 May 2012 at 11:27

Think it's very upsetting the staff are fantastic and very friendly. My godmother has worked there for 25 years plus (bulloughs) and to be told an hour before it goes in the papers is disgraceful x

Posted by anna g on 8 May 2012 at 11:17

Steve Curry makes a very important point. Rent and rates are far too high for today's trading conditions. The basic problem is that these costs only come down many years after trade declines. Rents are held at high levels because the big landlords have lots of customers who are locked in to long leases. Rates reflect historical rents not the reality of today's trading. It's not the Council's fault (I'm a Councillor in South Lakes) as they don't set these rates or receive them directly. Until this issue is tackled then I'm afraid we will see increased dereliction in our town centres.

Posted by Peter Thornton on 8 May 2012 at 11:12

Any attempt (whether in jest or otherwise) to blame this closure on the new Labour administration is a bit far fetched.

I thought that the whole reason why the previous Conservative administration spent the best part of £1m on the Castle Street 'Improvements' was to promote stores like Hoopers.

Looks like that strategy has failed. The city has a building which should be home to a flagship store but I cannot easily see who is going to take it over and maintain it. The last thing the city needs is another boarded up monstrosity.

Not that any of this can bring any comfort to those who are now losing their jobs. There are no winners here. Dreadful news indeed.

Posted by Anon2 on 8 May 2012 at 11:08

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