Shopping Vacuum

Recently Cambridge saw the opening of a substantial extension to the Lion Yard shopping centre – the Grand Arcade. This development features 50 or so largish shopping units as shown in the floorplan.

I was somewhat amused to wander round the arcade soon after its opening and discover that many of the units were still unoccupied. Have the developers greatly overestimated the demand of retailers for more space in the city? Admittedly the arcade opened some months ahead of schedule, but there doesn’t appear to be much change, or indeed signs of opening of these vacant units. Still, I’m sure they’ll all fill up eventually.

On the far right of the ground floor plan you can see a road named “Petty Cury.” Sadly many of the shops there appear to be closing. Clinton Cards has gone – moved into the Grand Arcade. So has Warehouse. So has another girly clothes shop whose name escapes me. If the only shops in the Grand Arcade turn out to have moved from somewhere else then we haven’t gained anything.

I do hope the current shop vacuum in Cambridge starts to fill up. Only time will tell. Perhaps a Greggs Bakery might appear as a welcome change to the current overpriced pasty shops. Perhaps the stage is set for a return of Woolworth’s…?

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