An increase in shopping centres outside of Sheffield could be leading to the downfall of commerce within the city.
With the recent addition of an IKEA to Sheffield’s retail repertoire, also comes a new shopping area, the St James retail park in Meadowhead, just south of Sheffield.
It’s due to be completed by next summer, and will create over 370 jobs.
City centre retailers fear these big builds could be leading to a decline in their trade.
Sadie Jones, 54, a stall owner in Sheffield City Centre said: “You look at the high street nowadays and compare it to what it was like 15 to 20 years ago and there’s nowhere near as many people.”
“There’s free parking and everything is where you need it so I get why people may no longer make the trip to town.”
The retail parks advertise an easy experience, with free parking and concentrated access to a full range of shops; from clothing to groceries and entertainment.
Sophie Jackson, 20, a student said: “It won’t be often that I come to the centre. I have a car so to get free parking and all the shops I need in one place is ideal.”
Sheffield City Council have had an ongoing project into Sheffield’s retail quarter with the goal of ‘breathing new life into Sheffield’s city centre.’
The Council said: “For decades now Sheffield city centre has experienced retail vacancy, falling retail sales and lack of investment.”
This project is a strategic priority for them to bring back more shoppers and visitors to the city by offering a wide range of high street stores beside independent sellers.
Michael Bradbury, 69, a retired electrician said: “I’ve been coming to Sheffield centre for as long as I can remember and always found what I need. It’s harder for me to reach the outer areas of Sheffield.”
“Yes it’s a lot quieter now but for me that’s better.”
For more information on the Council’s proposed ideas for the Retail Quarter, visit: http://www.sheffieldretailquarter.com/the-proposals