First of all, click on this (it may be Microsoft but it is more powerful than google maps, it pains me to write).
Very near to me there is a newsagent . I like this, in fact it is one of the reasons why I chose to live here. 20 seconds away is also a deli, off-licence, and video rental. Now there is also two hardware stores (serious DIY stores), a greasy spoon cafe and two bathroom stores within the same walking distance, but I don’t use those :)
I also have a couple of Indians, two chinese, a fish n chips, pizza/burger/kebab and various other misc stores (including Relate, a costume shop, two motorbike shops, a postcard shop(?), a alternative health shop… you get the picture!). The only things I lack is a decent restaurant and all day cafe.
Now, back to the point Chris, I mentioned a Newsagent, a medium sized one, fairly well stocked and open to 7 or 8pm (1 on the map). Further down the road is another one, run by a quiet Indian family, it’s small and in need to a good refurbishment (but you sense they have never done the level of business to do such things) (2 on the map). Open until 8 or 9pm. Opposite them is a post office selling similar sort of things, open during the day only.
And that was the way of the world. The key here is that though it is a busy road (it’s the A23), the traffic doesn’t really stop and the catchment area isn’t great. You basically want houses all around, 360 degress. There are basically no houses one side of the road (a couple of small streets) and while on the other side there is a large area of housing, the layout of roads means they will always pass a Newsagents before reaching the Preston road.
About a year a go a shop opened called Africmart. This was an odd shop, run by a guy who looks like a huge but friendly bouncer . The store sells some vegetables and fairly common food and also much which is obviously more common to those who are from Africa. He never seems busy but the shop seems like a good thing.
Then recently a new store opened just a few steps away from this shop and the small newsagent. It sells various international foods and also some bog standard stuff such as milk (and also some basic newsagent essentials).
It’s getting cosy, the small trade the newsagent would do is now being shared by these two new shops especially on the food side.
Now, another shop has just opened ‘top news’ a weird thing, a large sparse shop which seems to sell itself on traditional newsagent creditials (we sell newspapers, snacks, magazines, grociers etc) but looks to have a strong chinese slant. What were they thinking?! “hmm let’s open a newsagent” “where shall we put it in Brighton?” “why don’t we place it next to the three other places selling the same thing!”. They are advertising 24/7 opening (impressive and useful) but they are going to struggle to do business with so many selling basically the same thing next door.
Finally, this week, another new store has opened, this is again a food convience store, but also a strong slant on drink as well (a year a go I was worried by sole local off licence would shut when unwins went bust, now I have endless shops selling liquids to destroy my liver). The street with limited footfall, no parking and meters away from a main shopping street now has many shops all with a slightly different slant but basically overlaping.
As you may guess from my tone I feel a little sorry for the small old newsagent that is stuck in the middle. They never did a huge trade to start with, worked long hours, and this must be hurting. Every time I walk in either a young quiet chap or an oldish man is a cartakers coat with a very slight build stand behind a old tiny desk with a little till on it and I also feel rather bad for only buying some milk. I wish them good luck!