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OPINION: Arnold’s Front Street – why are there so many empty units?

Over 13 empty shop units on a main street covered with ‘to let’ or ‘for sale’ signage.


On a ten minute stroll today (July 29) from one end of of Arnold’s Front Street to the other on an early Saturday morning, one gets the feel of a vibrant bustling ‘high street’.

However if the same stroll is taken on a quieter day and attention is paid to the actual businesses operating then it is a different story.

There is no shortage of somewhere to grab a coffee, a pint or get your nails or hair done but when the bustle is reduced the same stroll will show a street with empty commercial unit after empty commercial unit – over 13 empty shop units on a main street covered with ‘to let’ or ‘for sale’ signage.

Starting at Wilkos in the ‘new’ market area and having a quick look around, you can immediately see the former large Oxfam vacant (available at £30,000pa) and two empty units on opposite corners facing the market immediately on front of you.

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Next up its a large unit just down from Wilkinsons near the trio of pubs which has been empty for what seems like an eternity.

It is at this stage that the empty units really become obvious. Gedling’s ‘capital’ has empty unit after empty unit – the HSBC bank, Subway, an empty tattoo parlour, a sports shop that used to be beside the Eagles Corner and the list goes on.

Some pictures from Arnold Front Street & Market Area (Gedling Eye)

The new Amp was formerly opened last year and the final unit was only let eight months later while while the first floor of the the £4 million flagship business development remains empty.

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Some new businesses have opened or are planning to open on Front Street with Sullys Bistro & Bar and Parkgate Mobility having recently opened up and a small supermarket and mobile phone store advertised to do so soon.

A simple search on FHP Commercial Property brings up ten units to let on Front Street alone (at time of writing). Details can be accessed HERE and they are only the listings with one commercial property company.

What does the future hold for Arnold’s Front Street? Can it survive on the growing number of coffee shops and trendy bars which appear to be doing well while there are many long term empty units and even state of the art new builds like the AMP took over eight months to let their six units.

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  1. Hiya
    Iv managed shops on front street for over 20 years now and have seen a massive decline in both footfall and sales
    The decline began when internet shopping become popular. A lot of us could not compete with the prices and availability.
    Then rent has continued to go up as have overheads.
    Finally COVID has affected businesses.
    Charity shops are as popular as ever due to general public wanting to be more environmentally friendly and wanting to save money.
    The only way to save our shops is too get the rent down and give impeccable customer service along side good stock offerings

  2. The rot started when Sainsbury’s left and moved to Sir John Robinson Way because a trip to Sainsbury’s no longer was so easily combined with a trip to the precinct . This was compounded by the disruption to parking on Front Street when it was basically turned into a bus depot and then installing ticket machines on the car parks . People gave up coming to Arnold when obstacles were placed in their way when it came to parking their cars and they never came back . It’s all about being able to park the car .


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