COMMENT: Oxford on its way to being a modern retail destination

Oxford Mail: COMMENT: Oxford on its way to being a modern retail destination COMMENT: Oxford on its way to being a modern retail destination

SHOPS – love them or hate them, we all depend on them. Oxford’s retail experience has much to offer, although it is often criticised for not being better.

The process of addressing that is now underway, with the conclusion of the Clarendon Centre extension the latest step.

When the new floor space opens up, it is hoped more people will be drawn into the town centre to shop. Only time will tell.

But with the planned redevelopment of the Westgate Centre, a revolution of sorts is on the cards – in retail terms at least.

Of course, the city cannot compete with London and other, much bigger cities – but Oxford has plenty to offer.

History, architecture, world class institutions and a fresh, thriving population – the city has so much going for it.

So having shops to match seems like a natural exchange.

There are issues to resolve, clearly – parking, traffic and the impact large retail has on independent traders.

And the schemes planned may not be the answer, for everyone at least.

But each redeveloped site, each new store, each high-profile new shop that opens its doors brings something new to the city that will have a long-term impact on the way we behave.

Other areas of the country have town and city centres that are struggling to stay in business, with shops boarded up and shoppers heading out of town.

Oxford, it is hoped, will escape that fate.

Today’s news about expansion points to a new direction for the city – but there is still a long way to go.

Comments (6)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:17am Thu 19 Dec 13

mechcol says...

Can only say one thing - parking prices ….
Can only say one thing - parking prices …. mechcol

9:28am Thu 19 Dec 13

Dilligaf2010 says...

The parking and transport infrastructure should've been resolved before any further work was done. If people can't get into Oxford to shop at the new stores, they'll go elsewhere, and the shops will fail.
The parking and transport infrastructure should've been resolved before any further work was done. If people can't get into Oxford to shop at the new stores, they'll go elsewhere, and the shops will fail. Dilligaf2010

10:10am Thu 19 Dec 13

Sarah Lasenby says...

Has anyone thought about the impact of these shoppers on public transport, mainly buses ? The present situation is that as far as buses coming to the centre of town we have virtually reached the maximum level that can be managed. We have lots of new houses in the pipe line particularly in Barton, not a place it is easy to cycle or let alone walk from unless you are very fit.
It is vital that transport matters are considered before we just end up with a snarl of buses.
Has anyone thought about the impact of these shoppers on public transport, mainly buses ? The present situation is that as far as buses coming to the centre of town we have virtually reached the maximum level that can be managed. We have lots of new houses in the pipe line particularly in Barton, not a place it is easy to cycle or let alone walk from unless you are very fit. It is vital that transport matters are considered before we just end up with a snarl of buses. Sarah Lasenby

11:50am Thu 19 Dec 13

Myron Blatz says...

Oxford is not planning to offer shoppers anything new, exciting or different, bit simply more of the same old national and multi-national chains - the only retailers who can afford the truly outrageous commercial rents and leases offered by ever-greedier developers and landlords in Oxford. Nor are the trememdously out-dated shopping malls the way forward in retailing, which have about as much characterfullness and individualism as anything which architects and planning committees dream-up, and which the original and current Westgate Centre is a prime example. As for Oxford City Council's manic desire to keep out private cars and fill the City with ever-more buses which charge really stupid fares for the experience, one can only think that maybe out-of-town retail parks really were the right solution - boring though they remain! As we fast approach Christmas - the time for spending - the sole reason for redeveloping Oxford's shopping areas is for landlords and developers to make obscene income from retailers, and in turn for retailers to charge as much as they can get away with, to pay the rent. With more and more people now shopping on-line (even with the big supermarkets) it does seem to be questionable as to whether we actually need a redeveloped Westgate or West Way - and why we need a dedicated bus station, when there are entire streets available in Oxford for bus and coach stops? Alternatively, people could always shop in Witney, Bicester or Thame.
Oxford is not planning to offer shoppers anything new, exciting or different, bit simply more of the same old national and multi-national chains - the only retailers who can afford the truly outrageous commercial rents and leases offered by ever-greedier developers and landlords in Oxford. Nor are the trememdously out-dated shopping malls the way forward in retailing, which have about as much characterfullness and individualism as anything which architects and planning committees dream-up, and which the original and current Westgate Centre is a prime example. As for Oxford City Council's manic desire to keep out private cars and fill the City with ever-more buses which charge really stupid fares for the experience, one can only think that maybe out-of-town retail parks really were the right solution - boring though they remain! As we fast approach Christmas - the time for spending - the sole reason for redeveloping Oxford's shopping areas is for landlords and developers to make obscene income from retailers, and in turn for retailers to charge as much as they can get away with, to pay the rent. With more and more people now shopping on-line (even with the big supermarkets) it does seem to be questionable as to whether we actually need a redeveloped Westgate or West Way - and why we need a dedicated bus station, when there are entire streets available in Oxford for bus and coach stops? Alternatively, people could always shop in Witney, Bicester or Thame. Myron Blatz

1:00pm Thu 19 Dec 13

redstone says...

mechcol wrote:
Can only say one thing - parking prices ….
Absolutely - just been robbed of over £6 for 140 minutes in the Westgate car park. First time in years I have had to take the car into central Oxford and it will be many years before I do it again!!
[quote][p][bold]mechcol[/bold] wrote: Can only say one thing - parking prices ….[/p][/quote]Absolutely - just been robbed of over £6 for 140 minutes in the Westgate car park. First time in years I have had to take the car into central Oxford and it will be many years before I do it again!! redstone

1:18pm Thu 19 Dec 13

Andrew:Oxford says...

redstone wrote:
mechcol wrote:
Can only say one thing - parking prices ….
Absolutely - just been robbed of over £6 for 140 minutes in the Westgate car park. First time in years I have had to take the car into central Oxford and it will be many years before I do it again!!
If you'd visited Westfield at Shepherds Bush, you could have parked all day for the same amount.

Anyone thinking about visiting John Lewis in Reading over the Christmas period will probably be delighted to know that First Great Western are offering parking for just £5 a day from 27th December to 1st January (inclusive) at the main Reading Station car park.

Parking at Oxford Station is half-price every weekend until the end of January when you pay by phone. So just £3.05 to park if you drive into central Oxford and park by phone and take the train to shop somewhere else.
[quote][p][bold]redstone[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]mechcol[/bold] wrote: Can only say one thing - parking prices ….[/p][/quote]Absolutely - just been robbed of over £6 for 140 minutes in the Westgate car park. First time in years I have had to take the car into central Oxford and it will be many years before I do it again!![/p][/quote]If you'd visited Westfield at Shepherds Bush, you could have parked all day for the same amount. Anyone thinking about visiting John Lewis in Reading over the Christmas period will probably be delighted to know that First Great Western are offering parking for just £5 a day from 27th December to 1st January (inclusive) at the main Reading Station car park. Parking at Oxford Station is half-price every weekend until the end of January when you pay by phone. So just £3.05 to park if you drive into central Oxford and park by phone and take the train to shop somewhere else. Andrew:Oxford

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree