A number of productive meetings have now taken place between myself, Ramsgate businesses and Kent Police with regards the state of Ramsgate Town Centre.
Continued concerns about disruption and damage caused by the area’s late night drinking culture have led to calls for a better Police presence and more responsibility to be taken by the venues fuelling the behaviour.
Beyond this, we are also worried when big name retailers, such as Boots, threaten to vacate Ramsgate Town Centre. Recent reports that 200 branches of Boots The Chemist are under review prompted me to contact the retailer for comment. Their reply was pretty much a word for word copy of what had been received by Sky News:
Dear Cllr Constantine,
Thank you for contacting us regarding the recent news story. I can confirm that we currently do not have a major programme of store closures envisaged, but as you’d expect we always review underperforming stores and seek out opportunities for consolidation
As is natural with a business of our size, we have stores opening, closing and relocating on a regular basis, but we have had around 2,500 stores open for several years now.
In fact we’re investing in our stores – last year, we completed a huge merchandising project to update our self-selection cosmetics areas in 2,200 of our stores.
We have recently announced the planned opening of a new flagship store in Covent Garden, London and the reinvention of our beauty business in 24 stores across the UK.
We are being realistic about the future and that we will need to be agile to adapt to the changing landscape.
I hope that this provides you with some reassurance and please don’t hesitate to let us know if there is anything else we can help with.
Boots Customer Care
You can’t get more vague than that, so I guess we wait and hope that Boots Ramsgate survives.
In the meantime, our town centre meetings continue. The next date is Tuesday 16th July. Please contact me on 07984 532212 for details of time and venue.
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