2 Jul 2010
Shops closing? Little Wonder.
The landlord of the Maltings is kicking out Little Wonders toy shop in favour of a 'big brand' chain. This is a disgraceful way to treat St Albans, when a dozen shops in the city centre lie empty.
Of course the landlords are not inclined to give a damn, so they must be made to behave, by the council. That's what the council is there for, yet they are so timid. St Albans remains a very attractive proposition to landlords and developers of all kinds, yet the council lets them walk all over us time and again.
It would be perfectly feasible to introduce a measure of rent control, to protect independent businesses like Little Wonders.
In any case, the landlords are being shortsighted - it is the independent retail in St Albans that helps to make it such an attractive place to shop. If this is replaced by nothing but a mixture of chains and empty units, shoppers will go elsewhere and the decline will steepen.
Sign the petition to save Little Wonders.