As the face of Sidmouth’ s traditional high street slowly changes into a different animal, re-inventing yourself as another new store may not necessarily be the answer!

While some buildings take on a fresh coat of paint, a new sign and a lot of advertising, under their new guise they may not last as long as their predecessors. If you own a business and can afford to sit it out, it is almost certainly the right thing to do. Whilst the sight of a new, clean-fronted, empty store may be rather appealing, whatever was in existence within its four walls before may have seen better times if the owner was in a position to hang on.

Going into any business venture underfunded can be a stressful situation, but is sadly a rather familiar set of circumstances. Luckily Sidmouth as a town doesn’t suffer as badly as some and for that we should all be grateful, but whichever way you look at it, things are changing, and whether you embrace the change or not, opportunities are presenting themselves, and if you have the business acumen to take advantage of those opportunities the current climate could prove to be to your benefit.

It is interesting to see that whilst many empty shops in some towns around the country are being converted back into flats and houses to provide conventional living accommodation, all the empty shops in Sidmouth remain as empty shops to let, which although currently may paint a rather gloomy picture, must be an encouraging sign on behalf of the landlords who always take a long term view on a property and obviously feel as though Sidmouth still has a strong retail future, which ultimately it has. I’m sure we all long for the days of endless sunshine where we watch the tourists wander down the high street embracing the town and all it has to offer, as businesspeople we have to ensure that it still has something to offer!