Cornhill Pret Ipswich will heavily impact independent traders

Discussion in 'Cornhill' started by dan5, Oct 31, 2017.

  1. dan5

    dan5Founder MemberStaff Member

    Independent coffee shops and cafes may struggle with a Pret at the Cornhill.

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  3. OP

    dan5Founder MemberStaff Member

    Some quotes of my previous comments in the above links:-

    I believe J&G coffee cafe in High Street died a horrible death. They couldn't make it work - they should have accepted (contactless) card payments. They didn't really stand a chance against Greggs. I went past the other week, unless I am mistaken, it is shut.

    Ipswich resident comments on Pret in Ipswich.
  4. martinc

    martincFounder Member

    I think the good independents will be fine, some of the smaller less able may suffer but i think the biggest losses will be from the other chains. That looks like a very big cafe to me, its going to soak up a lot of trade. Maybe perhaps places such as the cafe at the top of Debenhams will suffer, who ever actually goes up there?
    Will IBC however be able to support this? Is it not against policy, has that not already been stated?
    Or will it be used as justification for the Cornhill destruction taking place next year, in a "hey, look, we spent millions and got you yet another chain coffee shop!, didn't we do good"
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • OP

      dan5Founder MemberStaff Member

      Yes, Greggs and Cafe Nero will take most of the impact. However, I think it will create a two-horse race... People are obsessed with high street brands. I would hate to think how much the likes of McDonalds, Starbucks, Costa and Greggs export out of the local economy each year. I suppose it is no different to shops.

      A specific type of people go to independents... but you could class this as more than Prets usual A1 sandwich shops... there is two quite large cafes - ground floor and first floor. I wouldn't be surprised if it impacted independents. The location is key, the indies are hidden out of the way.

      I uploaded the Pret planning designs on IPSWI. The documents have only just came available in the last couple of hours. Not available at 2am this morning! :D No one at the council works so late/so early, so why do they stick a delay for the documents to show?

      I am not sure if it is against their planning policies - I believe it is, the other restaurant was without the bank division in the other part of the current store. They might have perfectly fudged the figures... as the building has two frontages - Cornhill and Westgate St. I wonder if the council will save face, as even if this was within their policy guidelines (I will research it) they previously ruled out a restaurant (A3 class - even if this is a "sandwich shop") and said this unit must be a shop... But it is Pret... and big multiples have different rules than the rest of us.

      I don't think it would have been so bad if they stuck to the original plan of the Cornhill for outside dining. Politicians only care about vanity - photo shoots and the like - and there is nothing someone like David Ellesmere wants more than to have a photo outside Pret in his infamous coat with a free coffee in hand. Likely with Labour MP, Sandy Martin in tow.

      I don't have too much against Pret, when you are a big wealthy company you can acquire perfect locations... for me it was the council turning down a planning application for a restaurant, and then to allow a mixed restaurant (vast majority of floor space) and sandwich shop despite saying it must be a shop, because they think someone like Pret a Manger is an ideal anchor tenant for the Cornhill scheme. Of course, the previous "restaurant" may have been destined for Pret all along... but I see it is brand snobbery, the point here is the class of change of use and specification... shouldn't matter if it is an independent, a multiple we already have in the town or a new to the town brand.
      Last edited: Nov 1, 2017

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