Shop to quit ‘dying town’

Urban Warrior in Kirkham Janine and Alan Douglas
Urban Warrior in Kirkham Janine and Alan Douglas

A FRUSTRATED trader has quit Kirkham, labelling it ‘a dying town’ with a centre he claims is made up of ‘90 per cent charity shops’.

Alan Douglas, who launched a clothing line at his Urban Warrior store just last August to a cavalcade of motor scooters, is moving to bigger premises in Preston after becoming ‘a victim of his own success’.

Mr Douglas claims he would have made a great effort to stay in Kirkham if he had seen more potential in a town he says offers little incentive for businesses such as his and where rents are much higher than he is paying at his Preston premises.

“I opened up initially in Kirkham five years ago after being based in Preston for 10 years,” said Mr Douglas, who hails from Warton.

“I went to school in Kirkham and really wanted to give it a chance but it is a dying town with a centre made up of 90 per cent charity shops.

“I have found premises in Preston and they are three times the size of my Kirkham shop for a very reasonable rent.”

But Elaine Silverwood, who chairs the Kirkham Business Group, hit back, saying that traders in Kirkham were working hard to ensure the town’s future as a shopping destination.

“It is very easy to criticise from the outside – it is a lot more difficult to get involved and try to make a difference,” she said. “Sweeping statements such as those made by Mr Douglas don’t help the situation at all.

“He is certainly wide of the mark on the charity shops claim – there are six, which I must say I feel is too many, but such shops are an attractive proposition to landlords.”