Saturday, 28 January 2012

A couple of questions

So, yesterday after realising that the number of people - usually about 2 - per hour that pass the shop isn't going to increase any time soon, I decided to think seriously about a new shop in a more sensible position. I love the Piece Hall; I loved the whole idea of bringing wool back to a place which is so tied up with the history of the wool industry in the area; I love the other shops here. But the low footfall I was expecting has turned into virtually no footfall at all since the markets were removed, and the fact that there will apparently be even fewer retail units when the place is refurbed isn't a good sign for future trading hopes... The council has a lot to answer for.

Anyway, so where do you think a new Three Bags Full should be? Somewhere in Calderdale and prefereably within 3 miles of Halifax itself. We have six months to find somewhere! What do you think?

Second question: hmmm, actually I'll save the second question for later...


  1. I would say Hebden Bridge is best place for high income footfall, and now attica is in mytholmroyd, there isnt an actual wool shop in hb, I think.
    The borough market would be cheapish and good, but you are going up against two other more acrylic yarn shops there. There are a couple of empty units on southgate, but the rents can be bad there.
    I think skircoat is quite posh and fairly busy but I dont know if there are any empty units there at present. King cross is still quite busy but i dont know if it is really a browsy kind of high street.
    From when i looked at leases for a business idea a while back, I find you really have to pay for footfall. You may find rents are cheaper in a little suburban shop, but then people have to make a special trip. It depends whether your customers tend to come looking for you, or whether you think most purchases are impulse. If the former, you just need to be somewhere on a low rent with easy access, esp car. If the former, what about trying the market for a short lease? There is competition, but at least that means people go there with the intention of buying wool.

  2. Thanks for that, Sarah. I love Hebden Bridge, but I think there is a wool shop there now - at least that's what I've been told by one or two people recently. It's apparently kind of hidden away up some steps (a bit like mine...) Skircoat's a good idea and I hadn't thought of that area - I suppose it'd just the parking situation that might count against it. I think we've worked quite well with the busiest borough market stall - we don't overlap too much and we refer customers to each other regularly. I think I might consider doing odd days at markets and farmers' markets rather than a regular market stall.
    Thanks for your thoughts - that's really useful.

  3. I looked into opening a yarn shop a good few years ago - about 10, and contacted the reps of the quality yarns that I wanted to stock. They advised that they would not consider another yarn shop in and around Halifax as it would be too near Attica in Hebden Bridge.
    Is this something that you would have to take into account ?

  4. Very interesting...they were super-cautious, weren't they?? Generally, I would try to avoid choosing a position too near to another shop - not only is it a hostile move, but it's counter-productive in that it justs splits the market. Having said that, I think Attica does most of its trading online nowadays.

  5. Woolshops. I just love the idea of a wool shop on Woolshops. Soz... not very helpful. Is it worth hanging on to see what happens with the PH HLF bid?

  6. Oh, me too, Dee, but have you seen the rents for Woolshops??

    The bid feels like a double whammy for me - I can't seen the PH getting a lot of footfall during the actual refurbishment, if it takes place. On the other hand, if it doesn't take place, I can't see much changing for the better from a trading point of view. Ho hum

  7. Anonymous2/05/2012

    (first, sorry to do it anon, but seems a faff to have to log in to comment, so...yeah. anyway it's sarah/rebeltrouser off ravelry)

    it seems a bit "off the main drag" but I bet one of those many empty shops near northbridge might be worth looking at? near where the peace cafe is/used to be, across from the car dealerships. they're on a main road, near broad street for parking, are probably quite cheap, and are "on the flat" which seems to be a prized thing for many these days coming from the bus station area.

  8. Hi Sarah, Thanks, I'd wondered about those units - have no idea what they look like inside. It'd be worth enquiring tho'.

  9. Anonymous2/13/2012

    I have never been anonymous before but I would like to comment. Have you thought about Sowerby Bridge? I live there and often feel the need of a good woolshop - there hasn't been a woolshop in SB for at least 10 years to my knowledge and probably longer.

  10. Thanks for your comments, Anonymous. Two votes for Sowerby Bridge and it is somewhere we thought about - Mike grew up at Willowfield so has an affinity with it! It's probably somewhere we'll think about again in a couple of years.