WELCOME TO THE BLOG OF BARNES’ RETAIL CHAMPION – SUE NICHOL
WHY DO WE HAVE A RETAIL CHAMPION IN BARNES?
Our local shops are the heart of Barnes and the centre of our community. The eclectic mix of shops with their interesting and diverse products and friendly and personal service are part of what gives our village its unique personality.
Sadly, the growth of supermarkets and massive shopping complexes like Westfields; the recession and lifestyle changes such as internet or mail order shopping, have taken their toll on our local high streets and the consequent empty shopfronts are a sad reflection of this.
But we believe we can buck the trend in Barnes and that this is what the community desires. So we need to:
- attract more retailers to Barnes to fill the empty shops.
- encourage Barnes locals to use their shops more often and spend more in them.
- attract people from outside the area to shop in Barnes.
- make Barnes a more attractive place to shop.
WHO PAYS FOR THE RETAIL CHAMPION?
My job wouldn’t exist without the support of the BCA (Barnes Community Association) and Richmond Borough Council. My aim is to ‘improve the retail environment in Barnes for the benefit of everybody’. The Council and BCA share the cost (£7.500.p.a.) of my 15 hours per week job to help achieve it. I am happy to do more hours where required because this is my opportunity to give back to Barnes.
WHO IS THE RETAIL CHAMPION?
Sue Nichol was born in Barnes and grew up here, leaving when she was first married (which might have had something to do with the house prices!) but returning later with three children in tow. Her retail experience was as an assistant in Boots in Richmond for years, whilst a student. “I think I was the only Saturday girl who had worked on every counter including the library (which existed in those days). I was proud to have learnt the complexities of the drugs counter (as pharmacy was called) and quite at ease until a customer asked in a loud voice for contraceptives! As a well brought up young lady (!) I wasn’t supposed to even know about them, let alone where to find them!”
Since then Sue has been an avid consumer, as is her grown up daughter, who now also lives in Barnes.