Inevitably Lewis’s is closing its doors this year, over 150 years after the famous department store opened its doors.
It seems unpleasantly ironic that at a time when Liverpool is supposedly getting back on its feet, the store boasting the ‘Liverpool Resurgent’ statue is conceding defeat.
The fact that Liverpool’s resurgence was marked by a bloke with his cock out did not go unnoticed by locals and visitors, with the store regularly referred to as Dickie Lewis’s
In one of my first blogs a couple of years I remarked that the likely closure of Lewis’s to make way for another leisure/retail/lifestyle hub/haven/paradise was a rather depressing state of affairs and, sure enough, it’s come to pass.
It’s also a bit of a coincidence that a new exhibition of the store open in Liverpool this week, supported by a website detailing the experiences and memories of former staff.
Theoretically, Lewis’s could reopen in two year’s time, once extensive renovations on the building as part of the Merepark redevelopment are completed, but I’ll send Piers Morgan flowers by post if that happens.
People will mutter that this is the price of progress, and though it’s happening for different reasons the closure reflects the difficulties other parts of the city centre are experiencing.
Decreasing footfall spells trouble for areas like Lime Street, Clayton Square and St John’s market, a part of town rapidly becoming dirty, congested and fundamentally unpleasant.
Merepark’s Central Village, which will include the Lewis’s building, is set to redress the cash drain towards Liverpool One, but it’s not clear to me whether the city can support so many different retail/leisure/lifestyle hubs – is there genuinely enough cash being spent to go around Liverpool’s various city-centre areas?
How will the Cavern Walks, the Albert Dock or Met Quarter fare then? And what will the knock-on effect be on Liverpool One?
It remains to be seen, but as this kind city-wide regeneration is predicated on attracting people from other towns and cities it at least makes sense that one of Liverpool’s biggest transport hub gets a makeover.
Stand by for more QParks, Starbucks and Aparthotels. And a fucking massive concrete and glass skyscraper.