ESG developers Stanhope have announced that TK Maxx will be the latest store to relocate to the old cattle market.
And in the meantime they’ll be moving to Holmer Road, with their Maylords neighbours Next.
Cue the predictable hysterics about how the city is dying! About how there’s no shops left in town anymore! And don’t forget to have a moan about ‘the council’!
What’s undeniable is that the high street is in a state of transition; in part because of internet shopping, in part because of recessions and the fact that we’re all a bit too poor to waste money on more junk.
Shops are closing left, right and centre and High Town is changing, but what it’s changing into no one yet knows.
Since time began village, town and city centres have been based around trading, once for useful things, now more often for a load of tat. Regardless of what a shopping experience might’ve been like in Hereford 100 years ago, High Town today is a temple to capitalism. But it’s the possibilities of what a High Town in the next 100 years might be like that are exciting: when all the shops have closed down or relocated maybe our city centre will instead become a temple to culture, with streets filled with theatres, cinemas, street performers, clubs and art galleries.
Maybe it’ll be a temple to gossiping, with pubs, cafes, benches, picnic areas and restaurants.
What about a temple to knowledge with a free university and libraries open to all!
Or maybe even just some housing in some lovely old buildings. Or whatever.
As we’ve said before we find it a strange reaction that the people who moan about Hereford becoming a ‘clone town’ are the ones that then start crying because these same shops decide to leave. Odd.
Perhaps now’s the time to stop sobbing into yer lentil soup and copy of ‘Hereford: Then and Now’ and start sticking a big two fingers up to consumerism.
Yeah, that’s right, fuck off, TK Maxx! One day you’ll be a library, or a cafe, or a club. And then we’ll have a big party there instead. Woop woop!