The answer to the Town Centre conundrum is pretty straighforward

In 1993 I was studying Marketing at University and was employed for a few weeks by the Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry to carry out market research about the changes that were taking place in Ayr town centre. Strathclyde Regional Council was being disbanded and in a dying act decided to finish off Ayr town centre as a shopping destination once and for all.

With ease of access and plentiful parking, retail and leisure bussinesses were migrating from town centres to out of town retail parks. This was seen as a huge threat for the town centre, the council countered this by introducing an unpopular one way system, a ridiculous voucher parking system and semi-pedestrianised the High Street. Further reducing access and ease of parking.

In a bid to reduce the impact of the new out of town retail park the councils retail policy limited the amount of out of town retailing. This resulted in many leisure and retail opportunities going to Kilmarnock, meanwhile Ayr continued to decline both in and out of town.

What nobody realised at the time was how the advent of the internet, faster connection speeds and the development of e-commerce would affect physical retailing.

The market research I conducted was aimed at the various businesses that were going to be affected by the changes that were coming. I remember interviewing the main players at the time, M&S, BHS, The Kyle Centre and many of the small shops and businesses that operated in the town centre.

It was clear that it was the smaller businesses that were most concerned, they were responsible for their own livliehood and out of town retail parks weren’t an option for them.


Renting salon or clinic space within one of our managed business centres has many advantage for the Hair, Beauty & Cosmetic sector including:

  • Fixed Costs
  • Flexible License Agreements
  • Luxury Communal Facilities
  • Safe & Secure Environment
  • 24 hour access
  • Secure Door Entry
  • CCTV
  • Fibre Optic Broadband
  • Business Community

Most Hair, Beauty & Cosmetic technicians have their loyal clients and use social media to advertise their services. With passing trade a post-covid no-no there are few advantages to having a shopfront. In fact, quite often the client prefers discretion when receiving a treatment and doesn’t want people staring in at them.

An additional advantage to joining our business community is being part of a network, you will be suprised how much business you will get through this network alone!

Brian Williamson

Brian Williamson is a Business & Marketing graduate and businessman, he is Commercial Director for the WMA Group, Ekko Waste Solutions and ABC4D Baby Scan Clinics.