Sunday, October 18, 2009

Ghosts of shops past

Walking home from church today in the muggy half-light, planes roaring overhead, I wondered not for the first time how and why Parramatta Road is as it is.

There are just so many dead shops full of stock. Some are thriving (like the patisserie "Croissant Show" - for obvious reasons) and many are boarded up, but the ones which perplex me the most are those that look like a shop - albeit an old, poorly run, shop - but never open.

It makes Parramatta Road feel like a graveyard of entrepreneurial hopes. Thinking about all the onetime shop owners who would've proudly taken a lease, injected a heap of capital into their retail fantasies, and then seen their business slowly die, is quite sobering.

There are many reasons why shops on the main road don't do well - lack of parking is surely the most critical. I wonder if "the varicose vein of Sydney" will ever be revived, and if so how?

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