Adidas store in Braintree’s Freeport does not worry Dunmow’s High Street

FRESH competition from big outside firms will not effect trade on Dunmow’s high street as retailers stand firm in the face of economic difficulties.

Freeport Outlet Village announced last week that it is opening a new Adidas store, but local traders remain undeterred.

Chris Muir owns Out There Sports on Dunmow’s High Street who would be seen as a direct competitor to Adidas. But he sees no reason to be pessimistic.

“No, I’m not worried about the competition,” he said. “The more interest in sport that is created is better for the community.

“My business model is based around giving the local community and clubs quality customer service, advice and encouraging people to come and talk about equipment.”

Mr Muir’s sentiments were felt throughout the town this week.

The general concensus is that the lure of Freeport does not detract people from the independent stores that make shopping in Dunmow unique.

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Owner of Cloud IX, Paula Uragallo, said: “The competition from Braintree is irrelevant. I think we offer different services in Dunmow. There are not many high streets that have lots of independent stores like ours.”

Having been in Dunmow for 50 years, Jacks of Dunmow has forged a relationship with the Barbour shop at Freeport. As the Freeport store stocks end of line clothing, customers are sent to Jacks for newer items.

Sarah Cassidy, who owns Cassidy’s Delicatessen, acknowledged that there was nothing like her shop in Freeport but agreed the shops in the outlet village were “bland”.

“I think people are getting tired of chain stores,” she said.

Chairman of the Dunmow Chamber of Commerce and owner of David Lipson Photography, Mike Perry, agreed with his fellow shop owners, insisting that Dunmow offers a “personal” shopping experience.

“You still get the level of service that people want in Dunmow,” he said. “Customers can come in and talk to the manager and we can offer advice and knowledge on our products.

With Adidas opening a new store and the high turnover of shops at Freeport bringing in fresh competition every few months, Dunmow’s High Street still holds the same niche in the market that it has done for years.