Matt's Crow Country: Benefits of new store outweigh the costa to existing shops

HAVING just moved to Royston, I took a stroll through the town on Saturday morning. Working for The Crow you tend to hear a lot of doom and gloom stories about the death of the High Street, so I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was pretty busy, esp

HAVING just moved to Royston, I took a stroll through the town on Saturday morning.

Working for The Crow you tend to hear a lot of doom and gloom stories about the death of the High Street, so I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was pretty busy, especially the market, which is continuing to thrive. I can recommend the raspberries from the fruit and veg stall.

Also doing a roaring trade were Royston's plethora of independent coffee shops, so I can see why they are not too pleased about the prospect of Costa Coffee pitching up in the old toy shop (see last week's Crow).

Usually I would always support small traders over a big chain, but in this case I think the benefits of Costa's imminent arrival outweigh the negatives.


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While the market and Angel Pavement are filling up, the High Street still has plenty of empty units, with the former Howes shoe shop standing vacant, and no sign of anybody moving into the old Woolworth's store to name just two.

To get the toy shop site open again would be a tremendous boost, and the presence of a well known international brand is sure to encourage other big retailers to follow suit.

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While I can understand the concerns of the coffee shop owners, I think that if they can offer a distinctly different product to that of Costa, there should be enough customers to go round.

The continuing presence of "Jedward" - twins John and Edward Grimes - in the X-Factor just goes to show what a sham the show is.

If you haven't had the misfortune to hear the duo sing, consider yourself lucky, because they have no discernible vocal talents.

On Sunday's show Simon Cowell had the opportunity to vote the pair off, but instead left the decision to the public, who inexplicably voted to get shot of Lucie Jones instead.

If Cowell were really interested in discovering talented performers, he would have kept Jones - a far better singer - but instead he chose to fudge the issue.

The publicity surrounding Jedward, which I realise I am adding to, is probably making more cash for Cowell with every passing day, so in that respect his non-decision isn't really a surprise.

But it is a shame that a programme which purports to being a talent show is now being so clearly shown up to be a cynical money-making exercise.

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