I made a very rare trip into the town centre last week for a small shopping spree (a few DVDs, some bits of clothing and new bedding) and found it a really depressing experience.I know I am partly to blame for not being a good consumer and only venturing to the shops every couple of months, and that if everybody shopped as rarely as me the whole town centre would go bust, but I don’t see much in town to tempt me there more often.
Just since my last visit the shop that replaced Dixons has gone, the video games shops have gone, the clothes shop in the new pavilion is now a pound shop and I think JJB folded the day before I went down there. It feels like at least half the units are now charity shops, pound shops, vacant units or just shops selling strange tat. The only growth seems to be in coffee shops.
The industrial estate is little better. Every time a factory is pulled down it is replaced with long term parking for the airport.
There are new businesses but very few count as any sort of expansion. Mostly they are taking over the premises of another failed enterprise, and some them will be over-optimistic ventures doomed to fail before long. Has Crawley peaked?