The coronavirus pandemic is leaving scars on town centres across the UK.
Brands that were once staples of the High Street have gone, removing familiar names from our shopping routines.
In Cheltenham, the TM Lewin shirtmaker shop in Promenade will not reopen after the chain moved its business on line and the shop is up to let.
It’s another gap in the Prom, which has seen a number of retailers move out of the town.
As questions continue about how the High Street will adapt to more people shopping on line, and social distancing and pandemic concerns putting some people off travelling to town and city centres, we asked what our readers would like to see replace TM Lewin.
We got the usual mixed bag of serious and not-so-serious replies, but all of which illustrate what people think is missing – or reveal concerns about the future of the high street.
Former Cheltenham Mayor, councillor Klara Sudbury said she would like to see ‘anything’ move into 19, Promenade, adding: “So many empty shops on the Promenade, so sad to see.”
There was also a call – seconded by someone else – for a Dunkin’ Donuts outlet, which would no doubt prove popular with many.
In sharp contrast, another twitter user suggested ‘any independently-run business – basically no chains.”
This taps into concerns that big players are dominating high streets with less change for smaller, local operators to succeed.
The University of Gloucestershire’s Media School also had a suggestion, tweeting: “@uniofglos creative students would love to take over empty shop windows for pop up art, fashion and film shows.
“We could brighten up the Prom for everyone. We’ve started the conversation but please join in.”
Other suggestions, such as an ice rink or trees, are unlikely.
Another Costa was also suggested (which would add to another on the same stretch and what appears to be a Costa Express opposite, next to Starbucks).
While a comment on our website seemed to think a mini-supermarket could be an option.
They said: “They could surely squeeze something like a Lidl or Aldi in….they seem to be creeping up everywhere too!”
Moving away from retail or leisure, one person said there was another thing to consider – affordable flats could be created from all the closed stores.
While someone didn’t seem keen on the idea of a betting shop opening there.
Any other suggestions? Let us know in the comments below.