THERE has been a great deal of criticism over the decision not to give planning approval for a John Lewis store near Lisburn.
The criticism centres mainly on the perceived loss of jobs and investment.
The loss of jobs is of course a myth. There is only so much retail cake to go around and it will get smaller for shops in the future – not bigger.
All that happens when a large new store is opened is that jobs are lost in a multitude of other shops and other full-time jobs become part-time.
This is a worrying trend in the retail sector – it now employs a multitude of part-timers at low earnings.
Internet selling is already reducing the amount of retail floorspace that the community needs.
Town centres are already being ruined – it is pointless to build more retail space when there is so much empty space already – even shopping centres find it hard to get tenants now.
Town centres are still the lifeblood of a community but some people will only realise this when it is too late and we are left with no local businesses – only out of town multiples whose profits do nothing for this country.
It is time to stop building unnecessary retail space and concentrate on more important economic issues.
Walter By email