Traders give cautious backing to Garden
World's joint promotion proposal
in Burnham-On-Sea have this week offered a cautious hand of friendship
to Sanders Garden World by voting to work with the controversial
store rather than against it in the coming years.
a packed meeting of Burnham's Chamber Of Trade on Tuesday October
11, the vote came after a lively discussion about the company's
planned extension of its Brent Knoll store.
Peter Burks, the manager of Garden World, had been due to address
the meeting, he cancelled due to illness.
Chamber committee member Alex Turco had a "frank and open"
discussion with Mr Burks by telephone earlier in the day and relayed
his conversation to members.
Turco told the audience of 40 traders from across Burnham, which
included Mayor Eric Gill and Town Centre Manager Anne-Marie Spalding:
"The Chamber of Trade committee has been grappling with how
to deal with this issue for some time."
feel, though, that we all have two common objectives. Firstly,
we want people to spend money in our shops and businesses and
secondly we want people to shop locally here in Burnham. We want
the area to be economically vibrant."
I told this to Peter Burks, he said 'hallelujah, we have common
ground. I am sure we can work together.'"
this in mind, Mr Turco said Garden World had proposed to distribute
a soon-to-be launched leaflet about shopping in the town inside
its store "as a token of friendship."
also added that would also be happy to install a new sign promoting
shopping in Burnham-On-Sea on a roundabout outside the store,
once this has been completed.
Garden World boss also revealed that its newly enlarged store
would not open until 2007 at the earliest.
Turco said: "Peter Burks says he feels there are only two
months a year - January and February - when building can be carried
out at the store."
as the roundabout has to be built before the rest of the work
on the site goes ahead, the opening of the extended store would
not come until 2007 at the very earliest."
Turco said: "We therefore have until 2007 to create 'Brand
Burnham' and encourage people to come and shop in Burnham after
visiting Garden World."
added that he believed the Chamber Of Trade should work together
with Garden World, rather than against it.
shoe retailer Jeff Shickle offered his backing, saying: "Sanders
is in a prime position on junction 22 of the motorway. We should
capitalise on this and work together. The committee has my full
how the Chamber Of Trade would create 'Brand Burnham' before 2007
by a member of the audience, Mr Turco said the committee was already
developing a leaflet about the town's shops, was boosting its
online presence, had participated in a street survey with town
centre manager Anne-Marie Spalding to identify strengths and weaknesses
along the High Street, and is also investigating proposals to
improve car parking in the town.
trader, a Burnham art shop owner, voiced his concerns over the
plans, saying: "I'm very sceptical about the plans - Sanders
is only interested in getting people into its own store. It has
no interest in Burnham whatsoever."
Sheila Leigh, a Burnham resident who has recently moved into the
town, cautioned that: "Sanders seems to be setting itself
up as a gateway to the town."
vote by those in attendance revealed that the vast majority of
traders are in favour of working together with the store, and
pursuing joint promotion plans.
'Use it or lose it' warning
to Burnham shoppers
Sanders Garden World expansion
gets the green light
Town Council statement
on Garden World go-ahead
Sanders Garden World