Next time I go for a stroll around town and people stop me and complain that there are no shoe shops in town I shall refer them to this post. Not to mention the number of ladies of a certain age who say there is nothing for them in town. Obviously these people are all walking around totally blind. When I moved here in 1980 there were at least six shoe shops ie shops that only sold shoes like Tru Form and Manfield. When Wrenbridge conducted their Regeneration survey this was the main complaint in Hertford. If you appreciate a challenge then try buying a baby's potty - its like a treasure trail, I have the map and know where the potty is hidden.
In 2007 there were 18 Hairdressers and 8 Beauty type salons (26 in total) and 2 footwear shops, 18 public houses, 33 eateries (51total). In January 2015 there were 39 Hair & Beauty outlets and 65 food and drink establishments and no shoe shops. Since January there has been an increase in the number of openings in these sectors. Many of these new openings have been at the expense of clothing retailers.
All this hasn't happened overnight. It is a slow process, an evolution. I'm not saying it is a bad thing - but the internet has played a part along with rent rises, rates, parking charges and loss of footfall. All these are of greater or lesser significance depending on what time of year you ask the question. Some retailers would get out now if they could; I know of a few who won't be around much longer and people will be wringing their hands in despair when they do go.
If you work elsewhere and come back to Hertford it is still one of the most pleasant places in the UK to live. If you have to live and work in the centre it is a slightly different story - it is matter of perspective and I do not wish to be patronising or disrespectful but if you'd been in my shoes for the last 15 years you'd know what I mean and that is why I need a new pair - desperately.