A leading Granite City trader last night described the closure of the popular Disney store as “extremely concerning” for other nearby businesses.
Stuart Milne, general manager of Finnie’s the Jewellers and chairman of the Greater George Street Traders Association, voiced concern over the number of large chain stores closing within Bon Accord Centre and what impact it could have on smaller local traders.
He said: “Everyone is going to be concerned about another big name disappearing from Aberdeen, but I had heard that the Disney Store had not been particularly well for a number of years, so some people were not surprised by it.
“It is causing some traders to consider their own position about what part of the city they should be in – but that is a question that won’t be answered until things open up again and we see where the dust settles.
“The Disney Store is not the only one that is closing in the Bon Accord Centre and I hope to get information about who else is going to be disappearing in our vicinity.”
However, the George Street business leader said he also believes that smaller independent stores, such as Finnie’s the Jewellers, do not solely rely on footfall from larger retailers.
Mr Milne said a number of shops in the area were “destination places” that Aberdeen shopper’s special effort to visit.
He added: “George Street does not have a lot of national chain stores in it, they are small local businesses and we don’t really know who of those will be reappearing in a couple of weeks’ time.
“We’ve just got to look forward with whatever optimism we can that customers will want to go out and spend money again.”