Is TK Maxx too minimal?
The consolidation of Marks and Spencerís two Gloucester stores under one roof in the old Woolworths building in Eastgate Street has sparked off major speculation about who will fill the vacated properties in Southgate and Northgate streets.
The front runner at the moment seems to by TK Maxx, a prospect which has been met by general approval in the media.
But here at Punhchline we are not so sure.
Thereís nothing particularly wrong with TK Maxx Ė and letís face it thatís better than an empty shop - but arenít we setting our sights a bit on the low side?
A Punchline survey into how people compare Gloucester and Cheltenham as shopping destinations shows that Gloucester is still seen to be playing second fiddle to Cheltenhamís first violin.
To change that perception we need to offer better quality retail outlets to attract a better quality of shopper and TK Maxx is not the ideal way forward.
Gloucester city centre is already knee deep in pound shops, charity shops and cheap pubs and this needs to be balanced by more on the up market end.
Debenhams has already shown the way with a magnificent refurbishment of its Northgate Street store and Marks and Spencer have kept the ball rolling in Eastgate Street.
We have also seen a number of new smaller shops open recently, injecting new blood into the cityís retail mix.
To maintain this positive momentum, we need to attract better quality tenants to the old M&S premises and to us TK Maxx sounds more like the minimum.
How about Zara, Mango, Reiss, Jack Wills or Hollister for a start?