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This week I want to say a massive thank you to H&M Chelmsford. I now have two more fantastic BSCs at the boutique – H and R. Out of all the people I interviewed they were streets ahead in knowledge, experience and attitude. They are also both really stylish, not just fashionable. And (drumroll) they both have significant experience at H&M Chelmsford! And I think that is more than coincidence.

H&M has always been about affordable cutting edge fashion. And they clearly invest in their staff and give them opportunities to grow as both have experience far beyond the counter having done merchandising, display and customer service. Perfect!!

H&M Chelmsford is also the right size for our city centre. The same cannot be said about our newly acquired Primark. Which I am boycotting. Not because I am anti-Primark but for the same reason I will never go into the Tesco on Moulsham Street – it’s in the wrong place!

Our Primark is too large. It may have given jobs to some but other shops around it are losing out. The daughter of a friend works at Deichmanns shoes and their sales have roughly halved since Primark opened. Hardly surprising. That part of town already looks shabby and now those shops will lose out to the massive “one stop shop” Primark and businesses and jobs will suffer.

Tesco on Moulsham Street is wrong too. Again I’m not anti-Tesco but in the right place. Like the one in town and the one on Princes Road. But local shops should be small, preferably independent. Otherwise we will all lose out. The big boys will put the others out of business and then, with no real competition their prices will rise, selection will diminish and they will call the shots. And it will be our collective apathy to blame….

So let’s all vote for variety – after all it is the spice of life!