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Debenhams are a large enough organisation to realise the implications of opening a new store .... Especially on a BH. I've got very little sympathy for them from a customer point of view Paul ~ this sounds like a half baked preparation exercise to me ... Customers will always vote with their feet (or moan on the web) ... I obviously would not condone abuse of staff tho.

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Mr Neads - you run a fine establishment there -a prime success of the Hereford eateries.

 

Your good lady will resolve the issues in Debenhams - of that I am sure. I too know the stress' of taking on new/young staff on their first job role. Its a difficult one, you have to give these kids a chance to learn and get experience, but some customers dont/wont understand that.

 

I wish your wife the best of luck and look forward to going there for a lunch one day soon to see myself how it is.

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by the way - i also hear that Costa on the site was the busiest Costa Coffee in the UK this weekend. They had to bring people in from all around to help out. Just shows how many people paid the OM a visit this weekend.

 

Been open just 5 days and had just over 90,000 visitors so far. 

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In regards to H.Wilsons comments, Debenhams catering team are aware of the difficulties faced in the opening few days. The team has been newly put together employing some staff that this is their first job, they have been trained and the unit opened it's doors to a huge amount of customers as you can imagine over the BH weekend. This is a new concept and is being improved with the staff giving it 100% to get it right. It clearly states as you enter "Please wait to be seated" but as they are busy and every table is allocated to a customer the wait can be a few minutes. The tables are allocated so every customer has their own table and it does not get pinched when they go up to order by people that could not be bothered to wait like yourself. When you get to the till the server will ask you your table number that you have been allocated, unless you could not be bothered to wait and just pinched an empty table that may have been someone else's. Food that is served is taken to that table that you were given. "Oh yes, you couldn't be bothered to wait". The team have been sworn at, shouted at and through thick and thin have stood by the restaurant throughout the busy/manic few days some doing a 14 hour day, kids that have started their first job and you want to punch them in the face for not getting it right, hell we are not perfect and I've been running a restaurant in Hereford for 14 years and we still get it wrong on times.

 

Woooo Hang on a minute, I am a very reasonable person and also a paying customer, we were asked on here to give our comments on our experiences at the OLM, which is what I have done, I have tried to be totally honest about our visit, I appreciate it's a new store but I was not offered a cheaper deal because of a very slow service. I certainly did not abuse anyone for a start off. You talk like we know how their system works! 

 

This was at almost 3 o'clock in the afternoon, not lunch time, the restaurant was not even half full, so before you go off on one, may I suggest you read it in the manner it was written. We also witnessed other people waiting and waiting and waiting, nobody and I mean nobody approached them and they ended up walking across to the till too.

 

I have run a restaurant that caters for 130 covers so I am also talking from experience. 

 

I was not being nasty, I was just stating what happened. The people sat opposite us waited for over 40 mins. I now realise the reasons for your outburst, your lady works there, (according to the above reply) so I understand your anger and defence but I was not out to condemn anyone, just telling as we saw it and we were not the only ones. Would you prefer all praises and congratulations perhaps? I give credit where credit is due.

To be honest with you and I am sure many other people would have felt exactly the same as we did, the couple said how will they cope when it's busy? because it was quiet, it really was, had it of been lunch time or very busy you would have a point but believe me when I tell you it was not busy. There is no excuse for staff arguing in front of customers though. 

 

We will be going back on Friday because we will be shopping at Waitrose with my daughter and we will probably go back to Debenhams for some food, I will add my comments again here if we go there and if our experience is a better one, I will be the first to say so.

 

It is a difficult job, I know and I am also aware how difficult managing and motivating staff can be, so I sincerely wish your lady good luck and reading the previous post I am sure she will have it all ship shape in no time.

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In fairness I think they have got a grip on that after I tweeted them!

 

 

 

Nuh I saw one today

 

Been open just 5 days and had just over 90,000 visitors so far. 

 

 

That's absolute rubbish, 90,000 is half of the population of the entire county

 

Some more maths,

There are only 59,000 people living in Hereford

90,000 customers in 5 day is 18,000 people a day

If we pretend that it takes only 2 minutes for someone to order, be served and coffee made, that would take 600 hours to serve people PER DAY 

(18,000 customers, 2 minutes each = 36,000 minutes / 60 = 600 hours)

 

 

 

As for Debenhams - I don't recall even seeing a food place there, where is it? I did see (from outside) people seamingly wandering around the roof but couldn't see how they got up there

 

As for the impact of a new store opening, let's put this into perspective, it's a shop and these people are working in a cafe, it's hardly Cheyenne Mountain or Cape Canaveral. A lack of motivation is common in many places in Hereford, even when busy there are a lot of shop staff who take things at a snails pace. I'm not saying people should be rushed off there feet, but moving with a purpose would be a start 

Edited by Biomech

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Debenhams are a large enough organisation to realise the implications of opening a new store .... Especially on a BH. I've got very little sympathy for them from a customer point of view Paul ~ this sounds like a half baked preparation exercise to me ... Customers will always vote with their feet (or moan on the web) ... I obviously would not condone abuse of staff tho.

 

I agree with you Roger. If Debenhams were offering a discount for the first month fair enough but when your paying full price you expect full service to go with it.  :Hmm:

 

I was reading thru the various posts about the OLM and the fact that there are no cash machines, I had the same issue, where are the cash machines, are there any on this new site? Very strange that.

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I am afraid I am disappointed in it.

What happened to the promised shared space across Widemarsh Gate? it was meant to encourage OLM shoppers to visit the historic centre. Now it's just a pedestrian crossing (or two -- one across each carriageway)  between Widemarsh St across Newmarket St. Historic centre feels cut-off.

 

No ground-level toilets as far as I can see at OLM though there are some up the escalator at Debenhams.

 

Popped into Debenhams and Waitrose and the lights were really glary -- may be incipient middle-age but it doesn't encourage us fogeys to shop there.

 

Not being negative for the sake of it but don't see how much wealth is going to trickle down to Herefordians.

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Not being negative for the sake of it but don't see how much wealth is going to trickle down to Herefordians.

 
If you run a national coffee shop chain and see Steve Pottinger on his way to one of your shops for his morning latte, a swift call to your accountant may be advisable.
 
The 51-year-old’s letter to Caffe Nero, in which he symbolically enclosed his loyalty card in protest at the chain not paying any UK corporation tax, has been shared thousands of times on social media – and it’s not the first time he’s had to switch brands.
 
“The idea that they were somehow getting away with not paying annoyed me, especially because I’d actually moved to drinking occasionally at Caffe Nero when I stopped going to Starbucks because they were dodging corporation tax,†he told The Independent. “Part of it was almost a feeling of betrayal: ‘What – you’re doing it as well!’â€
 
He said he became angry about Caffe Nero a few weeks ago when he read a newspaper article stating that the company made a pre-tax profit of £21.1 million in 2013 but paid no corporation tax, despite running more than 500 cafes in Britain. The firm has rejected similar tax avoidance accusations previously, saying tax-deductible interest payments on debt used to buy the business mean it has not been liable for corporation tax.

 

Go to an independent operator and keep the money circulating in Hereford. I enjoy my coffees in Gilbies (pay for six and get the seventh free).

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Apologies to all - my post was not clear.

 

Costa on the site was the busiest costa in the country this weekend.

 

Also - the old market site has had 90,000 people through it over the first five days.

Two different points that I didn't make clear.

 

But I agree - the coffee in gilbies in the sunshine putting money back into Herefords pocket tastes even better!

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I had a walk around the OLM on Thursday to experience the latest retail therapy. Entered on foot from Blackfriars Street and the first impression was that I was in the midst of a car park which dominated the development and it should have been either in an extended multi storey or underground facility. Shoppers will have to carry their shopping across the car park in adverse weather.

 

The vast swathes of paving could have incorporated a restful, green area with water features and platform for outdoor events. I could not find any toilets easily accessible and had to go to the Imperial to relieve myself. The only other toilet I could think of was in Tesco. I agree that the absence of an ATM was a bit of a surprise. Noted several cyclists cycling through the OLM - a bit different to the ban in High Town and Widemarsh Street.

 

Very quiet today, maybe people not wanting to fight their way across the city due to the May Fair. The stores obviously fresh and more open will appeal to most shoppers. I saw a shirt that I may go back to buy. Regarding the goods on display the standard was a bit obvious, no outstanding window displays - lots of shelving/racking with items just plonked on them, especially in TK Max. I felt Dunhelms, down Holmer, provides a better selection of practical home products. This is also a problem that needs to be addressed by the independent shops in the rest of the city, so many are covered with sales posters and retail stickers - looks very tatty. The window display is an opportunity to entice shoppers. The escalators and lifts in the stores is a move forward, but you would expect this for £90m. It would be interesting to know the socio-ecenomics of those male and female shoppers using the OLM.

 

I didn't try any of the food establishments. I am very wary of eating experiences that are marketed and branded to appeal to a style of diner. I want the money spent on the staff and catering not on themed interiors. I wonder if the steak house is using local sourced products?

 

As stated previously I wouldn't want to sit outside Costa Coffee with all the traffic movements and fumes on Widemarsh Gate. I counted over 22 traffic light columns at this junction and the pedestrians are still treated second rate. The other crossing to Tesco is also slow in changing and favours traffic - so much for shared space.

 

No doubt when more shops and the cinema are opened on site things will look busier, but whether it will entice us to part with our cash I for one will very much doubt it. British Land who own the site reckon to keep retail businesses in their development for an average stay of 11 years before there is a turnover. I think this average could drop in future even though the government are telling us austerity is over for the many.

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Go to an independent operator and keep the money circulating in Hereford. I enjoy my coffees in Gilbies (pay for six and get the seventh free).

 

I am not being funny but what does this have to do with our experiences in the OLM? Which is what this topic is about

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I am not being funny but what does this have to do with our experiences in the OLM? Which is what this topic is about

 

As a result of my experience in the OLM it endorses my view that you should support independent businesses if Hereford is to have any character and identity. You need to see the wider issues.

Edited by megilleland

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It's like day thirteen in the Big Brother House here. Im bloody starving. Im living on Cod and chips. Her? She's feasting upon her Waitrose food while I sit and watch. Bloody rotten old cow! I've got next to bloody nothing in me High Town food cupboard and what I do have, I'll be damned if I cook it myself.

I ain't giving her the satisfaction. Im disappearing. I went to shave this morning and I didn't recognise myself. And who cares? No bloody body. Well I'll be damned if I give in. I'll end up in some soup kitchen first. Never! She can feast herself stupid on her platter of clams and other juicy assortments of lovely food and it'll not make me shift my ground.

Oh, I know what you all think. He's off again rambling on about some nonsensical codswallop. Well Im a man of principle and I don't give a jot about me own health and well being and what you lot think of the pigswill I shovel out!

Mark my words, the High Town traders will get behind me, wheel me out before the Midlands Today cameras and I'll tell them exactly why I've allowed my ravaged body to become so badly neglected. I'll tell them, if they bloody bother to turn the camera and the microphone on, 'I'm a High Town man and Im bloody hungry'.

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Hearty vegetarian fare, that's what you need Bobby!

 

There comes a time when only a cauliflower cheese and broccoli bake will do.....this, I feel is one of them!!

 

All ingredients can be purchased from The Butter Market.....neutral ground between High Town and The OLM.

 

It's a sure fire cease fire on a plate!!

 

In the interests of marital harmony, and your diminishing waistline, it's got to be worth a try!!

Edited by dippyhippy

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How about a food parcel bobby? I'm sure the folks on the voice can have a rummage around in there cupboards to see wot they can donate towards it? we could even run a new thread & call it food parcel for bobby?

Ps I promise to make sure there's nothing in there from waitrose!!

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We went for a wonder around this morning at about 11.15am. Went into TK Maxx and had a look and then decided to go to Debenhams for a breakfast. They open on a Sunday at 11am and stop serving breakfast at 12noon, good that, anyway managed to get our order in just in time, it was very busy. Service was pretty fast considering and staff were very pleasant to be fair, but...I was desperate not to moan but in all honesty, we had tea, which was warm and we were then presented with a tea strainer, I thought, Oh no not tea leaves is it? YEP! VILE! Then breakfast arrived, all looked good and presented well but it was NOT hot, seriously, it was warm at best, so I was disappointed. I am sure we will give the restaurant another try in the future but I think that is the last breakfast I will eat there, just hate it when food and drinks are not hot.

 

We went into Next, store was busy, seemed quite crammed, the other store was not this small, nevertheless, I bought a few items. We had a look Frankie & Benny's, that was also busy, good to see a new steak house opening, needed one here for a while, so I really do hope that Hereford beef will be on the menu.

 

Finally, had a coffee in Costa and just sat outside people watching for 20 mins which was nice and relaxing, it will be great once all the other units are full, lots of empty shops at the moment. We saw some people cleaning up, which was nice to see, but like someone else has mentioned I could not see a ATM so had to pay for our coffee on a card.

 

Does anyone know if there are ATM's here? 

Edited by Bill Thomas

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Anyone know if that Wagamama place is still due to open?

 

I haven't heard any mention of it for a while......

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Anyone know if that Wagamama place is still due to open?

I haven't heard any mention of it for a while......

Dippy , they are still advertising on their website for staff so I presume that they will open in ( near ) future . I was chatting to a young man a few weeks ago , he had been appointed to a position at the Restaurant. .

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Also visited OLM recently. Well it looks better than I thought but

1. Parking arrangements are odd. Silly chicane sort of entrance/exit (so that causes delay) with people unable to reach the machine, why should one have to pay anyway, and why only one machine (maybe there is another but I could not find it) to "cost" your parking ticket on exit, so that you have a massive queue (and probably just run over that one hour limit!)

2. Waitrose produce of the quality one would expect, but could one do a whole shop there?- I think not. Very like M&S who should have purchased was it Littlewoods next door when they had a chance and made a really good food market..as it is, both Waitrose and M&S are sadly lacking in everything one needs, so we shall certainly stay local to Belmont Tesco's. I would think regular Waitrose users would feel they need to go to Monmouth or Abergavenny to get a decent sized Waitrose.

3. They need some planters, flowers, It's all a clinical and harsh.

4. The effect on High Town etc will be seen in due course, but I anticipate more empty shops and/or charity shops. I still think OLM was a plan that the Council was determined to go ahead with irrespective of what it did to existing shops, and without any thought as to how to deal with the empty shop crisis we have...head in the sand attitude in fact. Not only do empty shops look awful, but they do not give confidence to potential investors in new shops. The Council really must come up with a rate rebate plan for new shops in High Town etc.

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Not only do empty shops look awful, but they do not give confidence to potential investors in new shops. 

 

The same parallel could be drawn with the scruffy 3 ft long grass/weeds around town. That is going to have a knock on effect with visitors being attracted to the City. Or rather being put off visiting. Money saved from the budget but no vision to see what a rubbish visual image (and negative social media comments) will cause ...

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First thing I have agreed with you on in a long time Roger.

 

I believe in the notes I have seen that the BID is looking to tackle the image of the empty shops around town.

 

It would be boring if we agreed all the time ... 

 

I think the size/shape of the existing shops (empty or not) is demotivating for any major retailer to move in. So you are left with niche shops. Or phone shops ... Or Charity shops ... etc ...

 

I did look into this a while back and couldn't work out how Philip Morris & Son is still going ... But I looked into it and saw that they had a fairly visible online presence where their best seller (at the time I checked) was a weather vane ... Maybe this is subsidising their shop? But they are a gun shop as well so maybe that is helping? I don't know! But what I will say is that I don't use town to any extent at all for anything. As I perceive it to be unattractive ... 

 

weathervanes.jpg

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I suspect long established shops such as Philip Morris own their property and don't have to pay exhorbitant rent to absentee landlords, trading from offshore tax havens. We've seen the rent at New Look in High Street disclosed as £450k pa, with business rates probably the same again and staff costs and other overheads pushing it well over £1m pa needed before it makes a penny. From a few frocks? 

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For what it's worth, I saw people parking in the centre isle of New Market street today using it as a loading bay lol

 

Also, there's no a massive red P sign on the Debenhams allyway bit - what's all that about? It seem's to imply "Parking", but it's no where near parking access

 

Oh and I also thought today about yellow boxes, people repeatedly sit in them, perhaps some don't know what they mean, it would be fairly trivial to retrofit them with yellow worded "KEEP CLEAR" words, surely that would help?

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I suspect long established shops such as Philip Morris own their property and don't have to pay exhorbitant rent to absentee landlords, trading from offshore tax havens. We've seen the rent at New Look in High Street disclosed as £450k pa, with business rates probably the same again and staff costs and other overheads pushing it well over £1m pa needed before it makes a penny. From a few frocks? 

 

Here are the rateable values for High Town Shops:

 

post-2-0-47544400-1400093244_thumb.jpg

 

You would be handing over roughly 50% of the rateable value to government coffers.

 

Do a search to find out which shop pays the rateable value ie Marks & Spencer  30/34 High Town

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Do a search to find out which shop pays the rateable value ie Marks & Spencer  30/34 High Town

 

Here is a list not up to date:

 

3 Mobile, 24 High Town, HEREFORD, HR1 2AB
Ann Summers, 19 High Town, HEREFORD, HR1 2AB
Clinton Cards plc, 27 High Town, HEREFORD, HR1 2AB
David Christopher Ltd, 29 High Town, HEREFORD, HR1 2AB
Fat Face, 2-3 High Town, HEREFORD, HR1 2AA
Game Stores Group Ltd, 13 High Town, HEREFORD, HR1 2AA
H S B C, 35 High Town, HEREFORD, HR1 2AQ
H Samuel Ltd, 23 High Town, HEREFORD, HR1 2AB
Hereford Confectionery Services, 15 High Town, HEREFORD, HR1 2AA
High Town Hire, 4-5 High Town, HEREFORD, HR1 2AA
Lloyds TSB Bank plc, 6-8 High Town, HEREFORD, HR1 2AE
Marks & Spencer plc, 30 High Town, HEREFORD, HR1 2AB
Monsoon, 10-11 High Town, HEREFORD, HR1 2AA
Mountain Warehouse, 12 High Town, HEREFORD, HR1 2AA
O2, 9 High Town, HEREFORD, HR1 2AA
Santander UK plc, 20-21 High Town, HEREFORD, HR1 2AB
Vodafone Retail Ltd, 28 High Town, HEREFORD, HR1 2AB
W H Smith Ltd, 25-26 High Town, HEREFORD, HR1 2AB

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Bloody hell megilleland that's daylight robbery no wonder so many shops are empty!!

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