There has been the report in the Sussex Express of Domino’s opening in Lewes, at the currently empty shop on the corner of the High Street and Station Street.
As people will imagine, the Chamber would always prefer to see independent firms and traders opening in the town, but sadly, the exceptionally high rent and rates alienate those wishing to start their own business. We are quickly reaching a situation where only the chains can afford to be on the high street. Lewes has long resisted becoming a clone town, but now we are nearing the point where that is what it will become, unless the council and landlords look at what they are charging, and make it more appealing to local independent businesses.
Having said that, however, is it not better that we have a business that will invest in the premises and help enliven the high street rather than empty shops? The Chamber would therefore cautiously welcome Domino’s to Lewes.
While there are already several other places in Lewes offering pizza delivery, Domino’s opening should not affect them significantly. Before considering another branch so close to their current one in Ringmer, the company will have done its research and worked out there is enough business to support one here as well.
One main concern the Chamber does have is whether the council will be supplying any more litter bins. We already have food and drink packaging regularly discarded on roads and pavements. Another takeaway will lead to more unless there are an adequate number of bins and placed in the right locations.
Ultimately, the Chamber of Commerce wants to see a vibrant high street, and the roads off, with a good mixture of shops and other businesses that attract locals and tourists to our town.