A Hawick retail street is leading the way out of lockdown

A shopping thoroughfare in Hawick is undergoing a revival as businesses open and relocate along it during the return from lockdown.

By Paul Kelly
Tuesday, 27th April 2021, 2:41 pm
David Thomson, Phoenix Home shopping and Megan Donaldson, Personalized Printing. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)
David Thomson, Phoenix Home shopping and Megan Donaldson, Personalized Printing. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)

Buccleuch Street is witnessing something of a resurgence.

In recent years the street’s prime attraction has been the popular Eden clothing outlet.

It was also home for many years to Spence’s music store, run by the late Barry Spence, known as Hawick’s ‘Mr Music’.

Sandi Spence, Eden, Buccleugh Street, Hawick. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)

Now the former record outlet and Eden clothing store – which reopened this week at a relocated premises further along the street – have two new occupants.

Additionally, the street has food outlets which are also attracting customers to the area.

Yesterday, Monday, April 26, the grand opening was staged for the new homeware store, Phoenix Homes Shopping at 4 Buccleuch Street, in the former Spence’s music outlet.

And located next store is another new premises, Personalised Prints, which opened its doors for the first time yesterday.

With Hawick High Street recently suffering hammer blows following the closure of many major retailers, including Burtons, Dorothy Perkins and Semichem, the street’s revival is a heartening sign for, hopefully, the post-Covid times ahead.

David Thomson, who runs Phoenix Home Shopping with wife Rachael, said: “We have been trading since August 2018 but we were predominantly a catalogue-based business, but with Covid and going to people’s doors it was no longer the best business model.

"We were working from an office and storage space in Edinburgh and we had to diversify and we started looking about for retail premises when it became apparent we wouldn’t get any financial support from the government.

"We sell homeware products, your kitchen stuff, cleaning stuff, general wee nic-nacs, home furnishings.

"The shop next store, Personalised Print, just opened yesterday too and the clothing shop that used to be here has also moved just further along the road, and yesterday all the shops in this street pretty much back up and running, there are just two empty premises on the street now, including the old gallery but that is getting used for the Campaign for Borders Railway, so there is a bit of a revival going on.”

Personalised Print, run by Gerry Donaldson and his daughter Megan, offers personalised prints, including mugs and t-shirts.

Megan, 32, said: “We're very excited. My dad had done this business just through Facebook and then we got the shop and it’s great being able to expand a bit and get into a premises of our own.

"We’ve had people in browsing and we got a couple of orders yesterday for things to be made up. The weather has put a bit of a dampener on it. When we were here last week setting up it was really busy with footfall going past but it’s quieter with this miserable weather.

"There is a lot to offer now on Buccleuch Street, different options. There’s the baguette shop, the Indian, us and the homeware store, there’s a clothes shop further down the road.

"Before it was really only Eden clothing which has been here for quite a few years but there’s now a lot of other things to offer too. It’s good for the future.”