Jobs at risk as BHS 'will shut'

going: The BHS store on the corner of Queen Street and St Ebbe’s which staff say they have been told is to close

going: The BHS store on the corner of Queen Street and St Ebbe’s which staff say they have been told is to close

First published in News The Oxford Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Abingdon and Wantage, South Oxford and Kennington. Call me on 01865 425431

BHS staff in Oxford have been told the store is to close.

Employees at the store on the corner of Queen Street and St Ebbe’s said they have been given a letter indicating it will close in May.

They added the announcement was made on Monday but last night the chain was refusing to make any comment. Staff say they were told they may be able to transfer to one of the company’s sister chains, such as Dorothy Perkins or Top Shop.

One shop assistant, who did not want to be named, said staff were given a letter on Monday saying the store was expected to close.

She said: “We were all given a letter. I think the store will shut in a couple of months, around the beginning of May.

“We have been told that we might be able to get jobs at other companies owned by Arcadia, like Top Shop and Burton.”

When BHS opened the 35,000sq ft store in Queen Street in October 1998, it employed 140 people, including staff at its 148-seat restaurant.

It has continued to be among the biggest stores in the city ever since.

Fears have been raised that the announcement relayed by staff might be connected with the £400m Westgate development, which is due to begin later this year.

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Oxfordshire Town Chamber Network director Keith Slater said the news was not “a total surprise”.

Retail consultant Mr Slater said: “BHS has been going through a bad time and has struggled against competition from shops like Primark, which in this store’s case was only around the corner. In the short-term, this will have a very negative effect on Oxford, but it is a city with high demand for retail space with a lot of retailers looking at it at the moment.

“The empty shop should be filled pretty quickly, assuming rents aren’t too high.

“The news about Westgate has put the area back on the map again so I would not have thought there will be a great problem in finding someone to move in.”

Spokesman for city retail group Rox, Graham Jones, said: “If they are moving out of Oxford, perhaps they are worried that building work at Westgate could harm their sales.”

BHS customers yesterday expressed surprise at what staff say they were told.

June Gray, 81, from North Oxford, said: “It’s a big shame. I have gone in there quite often since it first opened and the staff have always been really lovely.

“I think it is competition from newer shops.”

Kamal Hossain, 35, from Cowley, said: “I have lived here for almost five years and I like shopping there, so I will be sad to see it go.

“My wife and children shop for clothes there because it is good value.”

But Roy Mayhew, 70, from Cowley, said the news was only to be expected.

He said: “I’m not surprised with the economic climate being the way it is. A lot of big stores are suffering and Oxford is quite a middle class area – BHS would probably find it hard to compete with shops like M&S.”

Comments (24)

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10:00am Wed 5 Mar 14

online_reader says...

I'm afraid I've been put off by the customer service on numerous occasions; in fact just a couple of weeks ago I was in the changing room while the staff member outside chatted loudly about how annoying she found the customers and how she was just waiting for one to get out. Me presumably. Not pleasant at all. Shame, because their underwear is better than M&S for fit and value.
I'm afraid I've been put off by the customer service on numerous occasions; in fact just a couple of weeks ago I was in the changing room while the staff member outside chatted loudly about how annoying she found the customers and how she was just waiting for one to get out. Me presumably. Not pleasant at all. Shame, because their underwear is better than M&S for fit and value. online_reader
  • Score: 8

10:00am Wed 5 Mar 14

colbart says...

With the redevelopment of Westgate, and John Lewis store, is Primark to return??. The plans show something much larger, (on several levels). Looks similar to parts of Milton Keynes.
With the redevelopment of Westgate, and John Lewis store, is Primark to return??. The plans show something much larger, (on several levels). Looks similar to parts of Milton Keynes. colbart
  • Score: -1

10:12am Wed 5 Mar 14

The New Private Eye says...

colbart wrote:
With the redevelopment of Westgate, and John Lewis store, is Primark to return??. The plans show something much larger, (on several levels). Looks similar to parts of Milton Keynes.
Primark will probably move over the road to the BHS site, that will give them a big boost in trade when The Westgate is closed
[quote][p][bold]colbart[/bold] wrote: With the redevelopment of Westgate, and John Lewis store, is Primark to return??. The plans show something much larger, (on several levels). Looks similar to parts of Milton Keynes.[/p][/quote]Primark will probably move over the road to the BHS site, that will give them a big boost in trade when The Westgate is closed The New Private Eye
  • Score: 2

10:49am Wed 5 Mar 14

Gunslinger says...

Yet another reason for people not to shop in Oxford?
Yet another reason for people not to shop in Oxford? Gunslinger
  • Score: 12

11:17am Wed 5 Mar 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

It's surprising how things change.

It took BHS years to acquire a site in central Oxford. Purchasing land/acquiring leases. Many long term residents will recall that BHS had a very small "lighting" store in St Ebbes Street in order to have a footprint in Oxford for years before the main store opened.
It's surprising how things change. It took BHS years to acquire a site in central Oxford. Purchasing land/acquiring leases. Many long term residents will recall that BHS had a very small "lighting" store in St Ebbes Street in order to have a footprint in Oxford for years before the main store opened. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 6

11:22am Wed 5 Mar 14

Quentin Walker says...

I feel sorry for the staff. It must be awful for them. Hopefully, things will work out for them all.
I feel sorry for the staff. It must be awful for them. Hopefully, things will work out for them all. Quentin Walker
  • Score: 16

11:33am Wed 5 Mar 14

djlamb69 says...

Perhaps HMV can move in here as they say they want to stay in Oxford ?
Perhaps HMV can move in here as they say they want to stay in Oxford ? djlamb69
  • Score: -3

11:53am Wed 5 Mar 14

Major Rhode-Werks says...

“The empty shop should be filled pretty quickly, assuming rents aren’t too high."
Oh yea, probably a long wait then
“The empty shop should be filled pretty quickly, assuming rents aren’t too high." Oh yea, probably a long wait then Major Rhode-Werks
  • Score: 14

12:43pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Manor Born says...

“The empty shop should be filled pretty quickly, assuming rents aren’t too high."

Possibly the funniest thing I have heard in a long time. One of the biggest criticisms retailers have of Oxford are the absurdly high rents that rival that of central London.
“The empty shop should be filled pretty quickly, assuming rents aren’t too high." Possibly the funniest thing I have heard in a long time. One of the biggest criticisms retailers have of Oxford are the absurdly high rents that rival that of central London. Manor Born
  • Score: 17

1:13pm Wed 5 Mar 14

robbo81 says...

Gunslinger wrote:
Yet another reason for people not to shop in Oxford?
what? BHS is rubbish. inferior in every way to Debenhams, M&S who I'd say are its true competitors. Primark competes with Topshop and John Lewis is on a totally different level. Only good thing about BHS was the toilets. Great for a quiet number 2!
[quote][p][bold]Gunslinger[/bold] wrote: Yet another reason for people not to shop in Oxford?[/p][/quote]what? BHS is rubbish. inferior in every way to Debenhams, M&S who I'd say are its true competitors. Primark competes with Topshop and John Lewis is on a totally different level. Only good thing about BHS was the toilets. Great for a quiet number 2! robbo81
  • Score: 0

4:49pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Catzpoon says...

There is a preliminary planning application lodged on the city's Planning Website from the Halifax Bank. The probable fairly imminent redevelopment of the Westgate Centre and the removal of the Castle Street subway has given wings to their long-held wish to expand their Central Oxford branch. Idle to hope,no doubt, that it might break with the lamentable practice of such organizations in this country, and provide Oxford with window displays that are other than cheap, nasty, garish and otiose.
There is a preliminary planning application lodged on the city's Planning Website from the Halifax Bank. The probable fairly imminent redevelopment of the Westgate Centre and the removal of the Castle Street subway has given wings to their long-held wish to expand their Central Oxford branch. Idle to hope,no doubt, that it might break with the lamentable practice of such organizations in this country, and provide Oxford with window displays that are other than cheap, nasty, garish and otiose. Catzpoon
  • Score: 2

5:27pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Isawyoucoming says...

When did the westgate development get the go ahead ???.
When did the westgate development get the go ahead ???. Isawyoucoming
  • Score: 1

7:47pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Myron Blatz says...

The very idea that people are falling over themselves to rent shopspace in central Oxford is historically not accurate, Mr Slater - so you shouldn't give up the 'day job' if you have one, instead of trying to be a retail consultant - or, are you hoping to advise people on the planed 'Oxford White Elephant Phase Two' planned for Westgate? So, let's try and stick to facts and reality, rather than hyping-up the 'dream factory' which is City Council and the developers. Getting the likes of John Lewis to sign-up to moving to Oxford is probably on a 'come and rent me' and usually very, very generous basis, almost as a loss leader to attract others to the 'honeypot' as happened with Westgae One - where I understand Sainsbury's (about the only decent retail unit which has survived decades of lacklustre retail experience) still has around 50 years left on the lease for its current location in Westgate. The advent of Primark was viewed by many as confirmation that Oxford's once-premier shopping mall had lost its lucky charms (if it ever had any in the last 10-15 years?) with the desperate move of letting Poundland rent empty units being seen by retail observers and shoppers alike as being the 'nails in the coffers' of this once prestiegous postcode in Oxford's retail dreamland. Today, only the likes of the multi-national reail and fast-food chains can even get close to being able to afford retail rent demanded, with some of these being highly questionable as to just which tax-avoidance haven the profits land - and not just those tourist-hungry coffee shops, either! As for the planned Westhate development creating new jobs, does this include the loss of jobs in the current Westgate Centre, and are all Staff to be paid the basic UK Minimum Wage, let alone the £8/hour 'living wage' which Oxford City Council pays its Staff from public money, and says that all contractors to City Council should also pay? As for BHS, the arrival of Primark has undoubtably seen a major negative effect on retail income - as has happened to many stores across Oxford's city centre where only non-UK tourists (especially from China) don't wan't cheap labels or clothes made in China or Bangladesh! Now there's the rub .......
The very idea that people are falling over themselves to rent shopspace in central Oxford is historically not accurate, Mr Slater - so you shouldn't give up the 'day job' if you have one, instead of trying to be a retail consultant - or, are you hoping to advise people on the planed 'Oxford White Elephant Phase Two' planned for Westgate? So, let's try and stick to facts and reality, rather than hyping-up the 'dream factory' which is City Council and the developers. Getting the likes of John Lewis to sign-up to moving to Oxford is probably on a 'come and rent me' and usually very, very generous basis, almost as a loss leader to attract others to the 'honeypot' as happened with Westgae One - where I understand Sainsbury's (about the only decent retail unit which has survived decades of lacklustre retail experience) still has around 50 years left on the lease for its current location in Westgate. The advent of Primark was viewed by many as confirmation that Oxford's once-premier shopping mall had lost its lucky charms (if it ever had any in the last 10-15 years?) with the desperate move of letting Poundland rent empty units being seen by retail observers and shoppers alike as being the 'nails in the coffers' of this once prestiegous postcode in Oxford's retail dreamland. Today, only the likes of the multi-national reail and fast-food chains can even get close to being able to afford retail rent demanded, with some of these being highly questionable as to just which tax-avoidance haven the profits land - and not just those tourist-hungry coffee shops, either! As for the planned Westhate development creating new jobs, does this include the loss of jobs in the current Westgate Centre, and are all Staff to be paid the basic UK Minimum Wage, let alone the £8/hour 'living wage' which Oxford City Council pays its Staff from public money, and says that all contractors to City Council should also pay? As for BHS, the arrival of Primark has undoubtably seen a major negative effect on retail income - as has happened to many stores across Oxford's city centre where only non-UK tourists (especially from China) don't wan't cheap labels or clothes made in China or Bangladesh! Now there's the rub ....... Myron Blatz
  • Score: 2

9:18pm Wed 5 Mar 14

gans shakes says...

Oxford is dying out. Rental costs are far too high, and for a World Heritage city its shopping is horrendous. Rental costs kill off all ability to attract something outside of big, boring chains.

Last year the costs of rentals in the Covered Market is pressing so many shops that draws in shoppers for locals shops. When you see the bags that shoppers are carrying, what is it? Child-labour loving Primark, and now H&M. We are seeing Poundtowns, Poundlands, big chain shops known for low cost, wear it once and its done, horrid junk. What will Oxford do when Wiley-Blackwell will withdraw their landmark Blackwell shops?

We do not need another coffee shop. We do not need so much low-brow international cheap chains. We are quickly eroding to make our very own Elephant and Castle. If we need to go to Poundland and Primark We have plenty of space at the Cowley Centre. If they need inspiration have a look at Witney. One fantastic shop that would be on the affordable side, but is a very big draw is IKEA. Another very good option is Uniqlo. Muji is another cutting edge store that can revive the shopping experience.

Yes, Oxford has a fantastic University with its colleges, but they have an insular, restrictive approach. But we have more Colleges around our city. As we are seeing new, open campus locations where the Radcliffe Infirmary once existed. I have seen what they have accomplished so far, and I am impressed. If my Alma Mater can embrace new approaches, with bold changes in its style and design why must our City outprice and appear like a rotten core by its refusal to embrace a new Millenium and attitude? Students pay £9000 pa to receive World-Class education at Oxford University, and we are flanked by east and west by another stellar centre of education at Oxford Brookes.

What is lost in exorbitant rents will be balanced or potentially exceeded by monies collected in VAT, and jobs our City so desperately needs. We have traditional shops in spades. Every street in the City Centre has an empty space. Is it really better to have empty retail locations blighting every street while others are paying far too much and watching people pass on their shop and street, hoping to find somewhere filled with people enjoying themselves? Empty locations create an negative impression for the entire street. It is human nature.

Insanity is doing something that fails, and then continues to make the same errors over and over again. Like London we need to end the stranglehold based on outdated, stubborn approaches. We have so much talent and innovation.
Oxford is dying out. Rental costs are far too high, and for a World Heritage city its shopping is horrendous. Rental costs kill off all ability to attract something outside of big, boring chains. Last year the costs of rentals in the Covered Market is pressing so many shops that draws in shoppers for locals shops. When you see the bags that shoppers are carrying, what is it? Child-labour loving Primark, and now H&M. We are seeing Poundtowns, Poundlands, big chain shops known for low cost, wear it once and its done, horrid junk. What will Oxford do when Wiley-Blackwell will withdraw their landmark Blackwell shops? We do not need another coffee shop. We do not need so much low-brow international cheap chains. We are quickly eroding to make our very own Elephant and Castle. If we need to go to Poundland and Primark We have plenty of space at the Cowley Centre. If they need inspiration have a look at Witney. One fantastic shop that would be on the affordable side, but is a very big draw is IKEA. Another very good option is Uniqlo. Muji is another cutting edge store that can revive the shopping experience. Yes, Oxford has a fantastic University with its colleges, but they have an insular, restrictive approach. But we have more Colleges around our city. As we are seeing new, open campus locations where the Radcliffe Infirmary once existed. I have seen what they have accomplished so far, and I am impressed. If my Alma Mater can embrace new approaches, with bold changes in its style and design why must our City outprice and appear like a rotten core by its refusal to embrace a new Millenium and attitude? Students pay £9000 pa to receive World-Class education at Oxford University, and we are flanked by east and west by another stellar centre of education at Oxford Brookes. What is lost in exorbitant rents will be balanced or potentially exceeded by monies collected in VAT, and jobs our City so desperately needs. We have traditional shops in spades. Every street in the City Centre has an empty space. Is it really better to have empty retail locations blighting every street while others are paying far too much and watching people pass on their shop and street, hoping to find somewhere filled with people enjoying themselves? Empty locations create an negative impression for the entire street. It is human nature. Insanity is doing something that fails, and then continues to make the same errors over and over again. Like London we need to end the stranglehold based on outdated, stubborn approaches. We have so much talent and innovation. gans shakes
  • Score: 3

9:35pm Wed 5 Mar 14

gans shakes says...

Andrew:Oxford wrote:
It's surprising how things change.

It took BHS years to acquire a site in central Oxford. Purchasing land/acquiring leases. Many long term residents will recall that BHS had a very small "lighting" store in St Ebbes Street in order to have a footprint in Oxford for years before the main store opened.
Regrettably, Andrew, while BHS took years to get here they forgot to look ahead in design, customer service, and image. BHS should have been called OAP.
[quote][p][bold]Andrew:Oxford[/bold] wrote: It's surprising how things change. It took BHS years to acquire a site in central Oxford. Purchasing land/acquiring leases. Many long term residents will recall that BHS had a very small "lighting" store in St Ebbes Street in order to have a footprint in Oxford for years before the main store opened.[/p][/quote]Regrettably, Andrew, while BHS took years to get here they forgot to look ahead in design, customer service, and image. BHS should have been called OAP. gans shakes
  • Score: -1

9:37pm Wed 5 Mar 14

exoxfordgirl says...

Cobart commented "With the redevelopment of Westgate, and John Lewis store, is Primark to return??. The plans show something much larger, (on several levels). Looks similar to parts of Milton Keynes".

I am an Oxford girl living in Milton Keynes, MK centre is on one level, its pleasant to drive to no traffic jams no Abingdon road, Iffley rd or Cowley road to contend with also the city is clean!!!!!. In contrast Oxford is dirty, the roads a joke, the whole town is geared up for the students, what about the residents who pay their council tax as the students are exempt from paying. I lived in Oxford until I was 38yrs old and I never shopped there, we always went to Banbury. If Oxford is going to have a chance of bringing revenue into the city the council need to listen to the residents the ones who pay their CT ask them what they want? Make Oxford shopping unique little boutiques as well as the High Street stores. The idea is for people to travel to the centre but why should I travel to Oxford when you will have the same shops as Milton Keynes, Northampton and all the other city centres. Think of the tourists that come and would love to return because of that charming little dress shop where they got that little red number. Women chose where to shop not the men and we like exclusive so give the residents what they want not what the council think they want.

Please also Oxford City Council please tell the women who are a plus size where they are now going to be able to shop, Evans are I understand inside BHS and now that is going their is no where left for them to shop. So you are forcing revenue out of the city because they will head to the nearest town for their size which I understand is Newbury and Milton Keynes. Not everyone can afford John Lewis, House of Frazer and the like and not everyone is 18-24 in years so that then cuts out all the Primark and Topshop and similar shops. What is left ?????????????? Oxford used to be great to shop in remember Littlewoods, Woolworths, Allders. Stop hiking up the rents listen to what the town what's and accommodate them. You will then keep the revenue inside the city instead of giving it to better equipped town.
Cobart commented "With the redevelopment of Westgate, and John Lewis store, is Primark to return??. The plans show something much larger, (on several levels). Looks similar to parts of Milton Keynes". I am an Oxford girl living in Milton Keynes, MK centre is on one level, its pleasant to drive to no traffic jams no Abingdon road, Iffley rd or Cowley road to contend with also the city is clean!!!!!. In contrast Oxford is dirty, the roads a joke, the whole town is geared up for the students, what about the residents who pay their council tax as the students are exempt from paying. I lived in Oxford until I was 38yrs old and I never shopped there, we always went to Banbury. If Oxford is going to have a chance of bringing revenue into the city the council need to listen to the residents the ones who pay their CT ask them what they want? Make Oxford shopping unique little boutiques as well as the High Street stores. The idea is for people to travel to the centre but why should I travel to Oxford when you will have the same shops as Milton Keynes, Northampton and all the other city centres. Think of the tourists that come and would love to return because of that charming little dress shop where they got that little red number. Women chose where to shop not the men and we like exclusive so give the residents what they want not what the council think they want. Please also Oxford City Council please tell the women who are a plus size where they are now going to be able to shop, Evans are I understand inside BHS and now that is going their is no where left for them to shop. So you are forcing revenue out of the city because they will head to the nearest town for their size which I understand is Newbury and Milton Keynes. Not everyone can afford John Lewis, House of Frazer and the like and not everyone is 18-24 in years so that then cuts out all the Primark and Topshop and similar shops. What is left ?????????????? Oxford used to be great to shop in remember Littlewoods, Woolworths, Allders. Stop hiking up the rents listen to what the town what's and accommodate them. You will then keep the revenue inside the city instead of giving it to better equipped town. exoxfordgirl
  • Score: 10

3:19am Thu 6 Mar 14

The New Private Eye says...

exoxfordgirl wrote:
Cobart commented "With the redevelopment of Westgate, and John Lewis store, is Primark to return??. The plans show something much larger, (on several levels). Looks similar to parts of Milton Keynes".

I am an Oxford girl living in Milton Keynes, MK centre is on one level, its pleasant to drive to no traffic jams no Abingdon road, Iffley rd or Cowley road to contend with also the city is clean!!!!!. In contrast Oxford is dirty, the roads a joke, the whole town is geared up for the students, what about the residents who pay their council tax as the students are exempt from paying. I lived in Oxford until I was 38yrs old and I never shopped there, we always went to Banbury. If Oxford is going to have a chance of bringing revenue into the city the council need to listen to the residents the ones who pay their CT ask them what they want? Make Oxford shopping unique little boutiques as well as the High Street stores. The idea is for people to travel to the centre but why should I travel to Oxford when you will have the same shops as Milton Keynes, Northampton and all the other city centres. Think of the tourists that come and would love to return because of that charming little dress shop where they got that little red number. Women chose where to shop not the men and we like exclusive so give the residents what they want not what the council think they want.

Please also Oxford City Council please tell the women who are a plus size where they are now going to be able to shop, Evans are I understand inside BHS and now that is going their is no where left for them to shop. So you are forcing revenue out of the city because they will head to the nearest town for their size which I understand is Newbury and Milton Keynes. Not everyone can afford John Lewis, House of Frazer and the like and not everyone is 18-24 in years so that then cuts out all the Primark and Topshop and similar shops. What is left ?????????????? Oxford used to be great to shop in remember Littlewoods, Woolworths, Allders. Stop hiking up the rents listen to what the town what's and accommodate them. You will then keep the revenue inside the city instead of giving it to better equipped town.
You have to remember exoxfordgirl that the majority of Oxfords population live on the most deprived council estates in The UK so where do they find the money to shop in these "unique little boutiques" ? Poundland and Primark are a boon for the majority, or do you wish to exclude poor people from the city centre?
[quote][p][bold]exoxfordgirl[/bold] wrote: Cobart commented "With the redevelopment of Westgate, and John Lewis store, is Primark to return??. The plans show something much larger, (on several levels). Looks similar to parts of Milton Keynes". I am an Oxford girl living in Milton Keynes, MK centre is on one level, its pleasant to drive to no traffic jams no Abingdon road, Iffley rd or Cowley road to contend with also the city is clean!!!!!. In contrast Oxford is dirty, the roads a joke, the whole town is geared up for the students, what about the residents who pay their council tax as the students are exempt from paying. I lived in Oxford until I was 38yrs old and I never shopped there, we always went to Banbury. If Oxford is going to have a chance of bringing revenue into the city the council need to listen to the residents the ones who pay their CT ask them what they want? Make Oxford shopping unique little boutiques as well as the High Street stores. The idea is for people to travel to the centre but why should I travel to Oxford when you will have the same shops as Milton Keynes, Northampton and all the other city centres. Think of the tourists that come and would love to return because of that charming little dress shop where they got that little red number. Women chose where to shop not the men and we like exclusive so give the residents what they want not what the council think they want. Please also Oxford City Council please tell the women who are a plus size where they are now going to be able to shop, Evans are I understand inside BHS and now that is going their is no where left for them to shop. So you are forcing revenue out of the city because they will head to the nearest town for their size which I understand is Newbury and Milton Keynes. Not everyone can afford John Lewis, House of Frazer and the like and not everyone is 18-24 in years so that then cuts out all the Primark and Topshop and similar shops. What is left ?????????????? Oxford used to be great to shop in remember Littlewoods, Woolworths, Allders. Stop hiking up the rents listen to what the town what's and accommodate them. You will then keep the revenue inside the city instead of giving it to better equipped town.[/p][/quote]You have to remember exoxfordgirl that the majority of Oxfords population live on the most deprived council estates in The UK so where do they find the money to shop in these "unique little boutiques" ? Poundland and Primark are a boon for the majority, or do you wish to exclude poor people from the city centre? The New Private Eye
  • Score: 1

9:08am Thu 6 Mar 14

online_reader says...

We all shop in Poundland and Primark because even those of us with pretty decent jobs and education are feeling the squeeze in terms of food and fuel inflation. Both offer excellent value for money. Primark is successful because it offers high fashion which is in its nature throwaway at very low prices. Poundland is an Aladdin's cave - you pop in for some batteries and leave with a basket full of stuff you had no idea you wanted.
We all shop in Poundland and Primark because even those of us with pretty decent jobs and education are feeling the squeeze in terms of food and fuel inflation. Both offer excellent value for money. Primark is successful because it offers high fashion which is in its nature throwaway at very low prices. Poundland is an Aladdin's cave - you pop in for some batteries and leave with a basket full of stuff you had no idea you wanted. online_reader
  • Score: 2

9:25am Thu 6 Mar 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

I do miss Allders/Lewis's/Self
ridges. It was great to be able to buy major brands in town. That option will, of course, return when John Lewis arrives.

Poundland is handy too though!

I needed a longer Cat5 cable for the office a few weeks back so we could move a printer... I could go through procurement, place an order, wait a week.

Or nip out at lunchtime and buy a 5m Belkin branded cable for £1 and claim it back on the next expenses.

(And grab a Toblerone for an afternoon snack!)
I do miss Allders/Lewis's/Self ridges. It was great to be able to buy major brands in town. That option will, of course, return when John Lewis arrives. Poundland is handy too though! I needed a longer Cat5 cable for the office a few weeks back so we could move a printer... I could go through procurement, place an order, wait a week. Or nip out at lunchtime and buy a 5m Belkin branded cable for £1 and claim it back on the next expenses. (And grab a Toblerone for an afternoon snack!) Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 3

10:27am Thu 6 Mar 14

exoxfordgirl says...

The New Private Eye wrote:
exoxfordgirl wrote:
Cobart commented "With the redevelopment of Westgate, and John Lewis store, is Primark to return??. The plans show something much larger, (on several levels). Looks similar to parts of Milton Keynes".

I am an Oxford girl living in Milton Keynes, MK centre is on one level, its pleasant to drive to no traffic jams no Abingdon road, Iffley rd or Cowley road to contend with also the city is clean!!!!!. In contrast Oxford is dirty, the roads a joke, the whole town is geared up for the students, what about the residents who pay their council tax as the students are exempt from paying. I lived in Oxford until I was 38yrs old and I never shopped there, we always went to Banbury. If Oxford is going to have a chance of bringing revenue into the city the council need to listen to the residents the ones who pay their CT ask them what they want? Make Oxford shopping unique little boutiques as well as the High Street stores. The idea is for people to travel to the centre but why should I travel to Oxford when you will have the same shops as Milton Keynes, Northampton and all the other city centres. Think of the tourists that come and would love to return because of that charming little dress shop where they got that little red number. Women chose where to shop not the men and we like exclusive so give the residents what they want not what the council think they want.

Please also Oxford City Council please tell the women who are a plus size where they are now going to be able to shop, Evans are I understand inside BHS and now that is going their is no where left for them to shop. So you are forcing revenue out of the city because they will head to the nearest town for their size which I understand is Newbury and Milton Keynes. Not everyone can afford John Lewis, House of Frazer and the like and not everyone is 18-24 in years so that then cuts out all the Primark and Topshop and similar shops. What is left ?????????????? Oxford used to be great to shop in remember Littlewoods, Woolworths, Allders. Stop hiking up the rents listen to what the town what's and accommodate them. You will then keep the revenue inside the city instead of giving it to better equipped town.
You have to remember exoxfordgirl that the majority of Oxfords population live on the most deprived council estates in The UK so where do they find the money to shop in these "unique little boutiques" ? Poundland and Primark are a boon for the majority, or do you wish to exclude poor people from the city centre?
I am the only member of my family that don't live in Oxford. I visit twice a month and I don't drive I use the bus so I arrive in the centre. why should I shop in Oxford when you have the same shops as here. What makes the tourist or people in other areas travel to Oxford rather than their own town? You state that the majority of Oxford's population live on the most deprived council estates in the UK. I am sorry but the whole of the UK have the council estates which are very poor including MK. But we have a healthy city trading because the thought has gone into it. A mixture of shops for every budget and age. Primark has only arrived in the last two years and thats not even in the centre and yet the centre is thriving. Bletchley is prob the poorest area in mk but its local shops are a mixed so it brings in outside trade as well.
[quote][p][bold]The New Private Eye[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]exoxfordgirl[/bold] wrote: Cobart commented "With the redevelopment of Westgate, and John Lewis store, is Primark to return??. The plans show something much larger, (on several levels). Looks similar to parts of Milton Keynes". I am an Oxford girl living in Milton Keynes, MK centre is on one level, its pleasant to drive to no traffic jams no Abingdon road, Iffley rd or Cowley road to contend with also the city is clean!!!!!. In contrast Oxford is dirty, the roads a joke, the whole town is geared up for the students, what about the residents who pay their council tax as the students are exempt from paying. I lived in Oxford until I was 38yrs old and I never shopped there, we always went to Banbury. If Oxford is going to have a chance of bringing revenue into the city the council need to listen to the residents the ones who pay their CT ask them what they want? Make Oxford shopping unique little boutiques as well as the High Street stores. The idea is for people to travel to the centre but why should I travel to Oxford when you will have the same shops as Milton Keynes, Northampton and all the other city centres. Think of the tourists that come and would love to return because of that charming little dress shop where they got that little red number. Women chose where to shop not the men and we like exclusive so give the residents what they want not what the council think they want. Please also Oxford City Council please tell the women who are a plus size where they are now going to be able to shop, Evans are I understand inside BHS and now that is going their is no where left for them to shop. So you are forcing revenue out of the city because they will head to the nearest town for their size which I understand is Newbury and Milton Keynes. Not everyone can afford John Lewis, House of Frazer and the like and not everyone is 18-24 in years so that then cuts out all the Primark and Topshop and similar shops. What is left ?????????????? Oxford used to be great to shop in remember Littlewoods, Woolworths, Allders. Stop hiking up the rents listen to what the town what's and accommodate them. You will then keep the revenue inside the city instead of giving it to better equipped town.[/p][/quote]You have to remember exoxfordgirl that the majority of Oxfords population live on the most deprived council estates in The UK so where do they find the money to shop in these "unique little boutiques" ? Poundland and Primark are a boon for the majority, or do you wish to exclude poor people from the city centre?[/p][/quote]I am the only member of my family that don't live in Oxford. I visit twice a month and I don't drive I use the bus so I arrive in the centre. why should I shop in Oxford when you have the same shops as here. What makes the tourist or people in other areas travel to Oxford rather than their own town? You state that the majority of Oxford's population live on the most deprived council estates in the UK. I am sorry but the whole of the UK have the council estates which are very poor including MK. But we have a healthy city trading because the thought has gone into it. A mixture of shops for every budget and age. Primark has only arrived in the last two years and thats not even in the centre and yet the centre is thriving. Bletchley is prob the poorest area in mk but its local shops are a mixed so it brings in outside trade as well. exoxfordgirl
  • Score: 4

12:30pm Thu 6 Mar 14

online_reader says...

Why _would_ you come to Oxford to shop when you live in MK? MK's main draw _is_ its shopping centre and leisure facilities. Tourists don't come to Oxford for the shops, do they? They come for the history largely, to see the sights, and get something to eat and drink while they're at it. I shouldn't think people go to Bath or Stratford primarily for the shopping either. You may as well complain in your local paper that not enough people are coming to MK to watch the rowing! Locals shop in their lunch hour or out of town the country over and homogenisation of town centres and empty units is hardly unique to Oxford. On a practical note, it's impossible to buy anything big or heavy in the centre of town because of the lack of affordable and convenient parking.
Why _would_ you come to Oxford to shop when you live in MK? MK's main draw _is_ its shopping centre and leisure facilities. Tourists don't come to Oxford for the shops, do they? They come for the history largely, to see the sights, and get something to eat and drink while they're at it. I shouldn't think people go to Bath or Stratford primarily for the shopping either. You may as well complain in your local paper that not enough people are coming to MK to watch the rowing! Locals shop in their lunch hour or out of town the country over and homogenisation of town centres and empty units is hardly unique to Oxford. On a practical note, it's impossible to buy anything big or heavy in the centre of town because of the lack of affordable and convenient parking. online_reader
  • Score: 3

6:43pm Thu 6 Mar 14

fairy godmother says...

I used to drive to Reading years ago to shop in BHS but when it came to Oxford I thought it was really a bad place to shop. The clothes are frumpy and expensive and the staff are the worst I have ever seen, I would say bad management is the cause of it closing down. Shame really........
I used to drive to Reading years ago to shop in BHS but when it came to Oxford I thought it was really a bad place to shop. The clothes are frumpy and expensive and the staff are the worst I have ever seen, I would say bad management is the cause of it closing down. Shame really........ fairy godmother
  • Score: 3

10:36pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Usernamehere says...

gans shakes wrote:
Oxford is dying out. Rental costs are far too high, and for a World Heritage city its shopping is horrendous. Rental costs kill off all ability to attract something outside of big, boring chains.

Last year the costs of rentals in the Covered Market is pressing so many shops that draws in shoppers for locals shops. When you see the bags that shoppers are carrying, what is it? Child-labour loving Primark, and now H&M. We are seeing Poundtowns, Poundlands, big chain shops known for low cost, wear it once and its done, horrid junk. What will Oxford do when Wiley-Blackwell will withdraw their landmark Blackwell shops?

We do not need another coffee shop. We do not need so much low-brow international cheap chains. We are quickly eroding to make our very own Elephant and Castle. If we need to go to Poundland and Primark We have plenty of space at the Cowley Centre. If they need inspiration have a look at Witney. One fantastic shop that would be on the affordable side, but is a very big draw is IKEA. Another very good option is Uniqlo. Muji is another cutting edge store that can revive the shopping experience.

Yes, Oxford has a fantastic University with its colleges, but they have an insular, restrictive approach. But we have more Colleges around our city. As we are seeing new, open campus locations where the Radcliffe Infirmary once existed. I have seen what they have accomplished so far, and I am impressed. If my Alma Mater can embrace new approaches, with bold changes in its style and design why must our City outprice and appear like a rotten core by its refusal to embrace a new Millenium and attitude? Students pay £9000 pa to receive World-Class education at Oxford University, and we are flanked by east and west by another stellar centre of education at Oxford Brookes.

What is lost in exorbitant rents will be balanced or potentially exceeded by monies collected in VAT, and jobs our City so desperately needs. We have traditional shops in spades. Every street in the City Centre has an empty space. Is it really better to have empty retail locations blighting every street while others are paying far too much and watching people pass on their shop and street, hoping to find somewhere filled with people enjoying themselves? Empty locations create an negative impression for the entire street. It is human nature.

Insanity is doing something that fails, and then continues to make the same errors over and over again. Like London we need to end the stranglehold based on outdated, stubborn approaches. We have so much talent and innovation.
Wiley does not own the bookshops and never has done. It acquired Blackwell Publishing in 2007; the bookshops have been separate for many, many years.
[quote][p][bold]gans shakes[/bold] wrote: Oxford is dying out. Rental costs are far too high, and for a World Heritage city its shopping is horrendous. Rental costs kill off all ability to attract something outside of big, boring chains. Last year the costs of rentals in the Covered Market is pressing so many shops that draws in shoppers for locals shops. When you see the bags that shoppers are carrying, what is it? Child-labour loving Primark, and now H&M. We are seeing Poundtowns, Poundlands, big chain shops known for low cost, wear it once and its done, horrid junk. What will Oxford do when Wiley-Blackwell will withdraw their landmark Blackwell shops? We do not need another coffee shop. We do not need so much low-brow international cheap chains. We are quickly eroding to make our very own Elephant and Castle. If we need to go to Poundland and Primark We have plenty of space at the Cowley Centre. If they need inspiration have a look at Witney. One fantastic shop that would be on the affordable side, but is a very big draw is IKEA. Another very good option is Uniqlo. Muji is another cutting edge store that can revive the shopping experience. Yes, Oxford has a fantastic University with its colleges, but they have an insular, restrictive approach. But we have more Colleges around our city. As we are seeing new, open campus locations where the Radcliffe Infirmary once existed. I have seen what they have accomplished so far, and I am impressed. If my Alma Mater can embrace new approaches, with bold changes in its style and design why must our City outprice and appear like a rotten core by its refusal to embrace a new Millenium and attitude? Students pay £9000 pa to receive World-Class education at Oxford University, and we are flanked by east and west by another stellar centre of education at Oxford Brookes. What is lost in exorbitant rents will be balanced or potentially exceeded by monies collected in VAT, and jobs our City so desperately needs. We have traditional shops in spades. Every street in the City Centre has an empty space. Is it really better to have empty retail locations blighting every street while others are paying far too much and watching people pass on their shop and street, hoping to find somewhere filled with people enjoying themselves? Empty locations create an negative impression for the entire street. It is human nature. Insanity is doing something that fails, and then continues to make the same errors over and over again. Like London we need to end the stranglehold based on outdated, stubborn approaches. We have so much talent and innovation.[/p][/quote]Wiley does not own the bookshops and never has done. It acquired Blackwell Publishing in 2007; the bookshops have been separate for many, many years. Usernamehere
  • Score: 1

11:59am Sat 8 Mar 14

gans shakes says...

Usernamehere wrote:
gans shakes wrote:
Oxford is dying out. Rental costs are far too high, and for a World Heritage city its shopping is horrendous. Rental costs kill off all ability to attract something outside of big, boring chains.

Last year the costs of rentals in the Covered Market is pressing so many shops that draws in shoppers for locals shops. When you see the bags that shoppers are carrying, what is it? Child-labour loving Primark, and now H&M. We are seeing Poundtowns, Poundlands, big chain shops known for low cost, wear it once and its done, horrid junk. What will Oxford do when Wiley-Blackwell will withdraw their landmark Blackwell shops?

We do not need another coffee shop. We do not need so much low-brow international cheap chains. We are quickly eroding to make our very own Elephant and Castle. If we need to go to Poundland and Primark We have plenty of space at the Cowley Centre. If they need inspiration have a look at Witney. One fantastic shop that would be on the affordable side, but is a very big draw is IKEA. Another very good option is Uniqlo. Muji is another cutting edge store that can revive the shopping experience.

Yes, Oxford has a fantastic University with its colleges, but they have an insular, restrictive approach. But we have more Colleges around our city. As we are seeing new, open campus locations where the Radcliffe Infirmary once existed. I have seen what they have accomplished so far, and I am impressed. If my Alma Mater can embrace new approaches, with bold changes in its style and design why must our City outprice and appear like a rotten core by its refusal to embrace a new Millenium and attitude? Students pay £9000 pa to receive World-Class education at Oxford University, and we are flanked by east and west by another stellar centre of education at Oxford Brookes.

What is lost in exorbitant rents will be balanced or potentially exceeded by monies collected in VAT, and jobs our City so desperately needs. We have traditional shops in spades. Every street in the City Centre has an empty space. Is it really better to have empty retail locations blighting every street while others are paying far too much and watching people pass on their shop and street, hoping to find somewhere filled with people enjoying themselves? Empty locations create an negative impression for the entire street. It is human nature.

Insanity is doing something that fails, and then continues to make the same errors over and over again. Like London we need to end the stranglehold based on outdated, stubborn approaches. We have so much talent and innovation.
Wiley does not own the bookshops and never has done. It acquired Blackwell Publishing in 2007; the bookshops have been separate for many, many years.
Wiley does not own the bookshops and never has done. It acquired Blackwell Publishing in 2007; the bookshops have been separate for many, many years.

Sorry about the error, Usernamehere. Perhaps it is the customer service that gives the impression that they are leaving us.
[quote][p][bold]Usernamehere[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]gans shakes[/bold] wrote: Oxford is dying out. Rental costs are far too high, and for a World Heritage city its shopping is horrendous. Rental costs kill off all ability to attract something outside of big, boring chains. Last year the costs of rentals in the Covered Market is pressing so many shops that draws in shoppers for locals shops. When you see the bags that shoppers are carrying, what is it? Child-labour loving Primark, and now H&M. We are seeing Poundtowns, Poundlands, big chain shops known for low cost, wear it once and its done, horrid junk. What will Oxford do when Wiley-Blackwell will withdraw their landmark Blackwell shops? We do not need another coffee shop. We do not need so much low-brow international cheap chains. We are quickly eroding to make our very own Elephant and Castle. If we need to go to Poundland and Primark We have plenty of space at the Cowley Centre. If they need inspiration have a look at Witney. One fantastic shop that would be on the affordable side, but is a very big draw is IKEA. Another very good option is Uniqlo. Muji is another cutting edge store that can revive the shopping experience. Yes, Oxford has a fantastic University with its colleges, but they have an insular, restrictive approach. But we have more Colleges around our city. As we are seeing new, open campus locations where the Radcliffe Infirmary once existed. I have seen what they have accomplished so far, and I am impressed. If my Alma Mater can embrace new approaches, with bold changes in its style and design why must our City outprice and appear like a rotten core by its refusal to embrace a new Millenium and attitude? Students pay £9000 pa to receive World-Class education at Oxford University, and we are flanked by east and west by another stellar centre of education at Oxford Brookes. What is lost in exorbitant rents will be balanced or potentially exceeded by monies collected in VAT, and jobs our City so desperately needs. We have traditional shops in spades. Every street in the City Centre has an empty space. Is it really better to have empty retail locations blighting every street while others are paying far too much and watching people pass on their shop and street, hoping to find somewhere filled with people enjoying themselves? Empty locations create an negative impression for the entire street. It is human nature. Insanity is doing something that fails, and then continues to make the same errors over and over again. Like London we need to end the stranglehold based on outdated, stubborn approaches. We have so much talent and innovation.[/p][/quote]Wiley does not own the bookshops and never has done. It acquired Blackwell Publishing in 2007; the bookshops have been separate for many, many years.[/p][/quote]Wiley does not own the bookshops and never has done. It acquired Blackwell Publishing in 2007; the bookshops have been separate for many, many years. Sorry about the error, Usernamehere. Perhaps it is the customer service that gives the impression that they are leaving us. gans shakes
  • Score: 1

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