* indicates required

Trader warns of high street demise

Jeff Wyatt (pictured) has not renewed the lease on his shop in Queensway, Bletchley, and opted to move his stationery store Tuppers to his shop in Welwyn Garden City.

He has traded in Milton Keynes for almost 30 years but says that the boom in internet shopping, the power of the supermarket chains and the arrival of Asda, Ikea and the new stadium at Denbigh have sounded the death knell.

Mr Wyatt said: “The traditional British high street is dying. Despite having regular customers, stocking fresh goods and staffed by knowledgeable people, it hasn’t been enough. The consequence of the consumer using the web is that many traditional retailers large and small are not making enough profit, which means they cease to trade.”

For that reason, Mr Wyatt sold his lease on his former premises in Lloyds Court, Central Milton Keynes and has chosen not to renew on Tuppers’ premises in Queensway.
Planners had allowed too much development by major national retailers, Mr Wyatt said. “Much as I support Pete Winkelman’s efforts to bring professional football and a magnificent stadium to our city, the Asda and Ikea development at the Denbigh roundabout has caused an instant migration of consumers from Queensway and very bad traffic congestion.”

Tesco had received permission to build a local supermarket in Newton Road, Bletchley – next door to a long-established Co-op. Mr Wyatt said: “The council has done nothing to help the established commerce. For years I have been hearing about the ‘regeneration of Bletchley’. These people can talk the talk but cannot walk the walk, it seems.”

Mr Wyatt admits he has to move with the times. He said: “I have other business ideas on the go, including an internet-based business, but they are all a million miles away from the high street.”