|The Rushden Echo, 30th August 1968, transcribed by Jim Hollis
‘Echo’ Survey in The High Street
Town shops: ‘Value for money’
Most people in Rushden do the majority of their shopping in the town. They find the service variable but mostly good and find they get good value for their money.
Surprising or not, this was the result of a survey the “Echo” carried out in the High Street this week.
Many shoppers have said that they cannot understand people going to Northampton or Bedford when they can get the goods at the same price and at times cheaper in their own town.
But we found that those who go out of town only do it for a change of surroundings or perhaps a wider variety of shops but NOT because they think they can really get better bargains or because Rushden is unattractive as a shopping area.
Last week we reported on the front page of the “Echo” that a magazine had recently said that shops and the whole concept of shopping in the town needed a shake-up.
That was the magazine’s opinion after they had done a survey on the opportunities in the town for businessmen and investors. Perhaps the shopkeepers could do more for their customers in certain aspects but the general opinion of the shoppers is that they are quite satisfied with their “lot.”
What many would like to see and who would not would be such stores as Marks and Spencers, C and A, Littlewoods and others. But naturally such concerns do not find it a worthwhile investment in such a small town.
The overall impression we gained from the Rushden public was that they felt they could shop as well in Rushden as almost anywhere and perhaps better than in many towns of a similar size in other parts of the country.
As for value for money, most people found that the shops not only in the High Street but in Church Street and other smaller streets gave, on average, good value for money but that as always the extra pennies were saved by the discerning housewife who shopped intelligently looking for bargains. Many people of course, do not have the time to price one shop against another.
As for the service, most people thought it was good but slow on occasions and some felt the younger shop assistants were a little impatient with you if you took time choosing something.
One woman went as far as to say that the young shop assistants seem to think they are doing you a favour to get you out of the shop as soon as possible, but this was far from the general opinion.
As the magazine for businessmen and investors says, shop investment in Rushden looks a snip. With shop rents low there is money to be made in Rushden, but people in the town are not very partial to any “city slickers” who open up in the town.
The locals prefer to shop with the family businesses which have served them well over the years, so although shop investment may be a good thing in Rushden we doubt if they will change the face of the town.