A trader who moved from London to open a cafe in Hawick just two weeks ago has delivered a damning verdict on the town centre, saying: “I made a bad mistake coming here”.
Rojin Garip Yardin has opened the De Cafe Lounge at 45 Hawick High Street.
Mr Yardin took over the property on a 10-year lease following advice from friends and had never even visited Hawick before he arrived with his family from the English capital.
He said he soon regretted the decision because “Hawick is a dead place” for retailers.
Mr Yardin believes there are far too many cafes in and around the high street, with a new Costa Coffee venue about to be added to that list.
The new town retailer is full of praise for the people of Hawick, who he described as “very kind”, but he has concluded that “Hawick is not for business”.
He said: “This was a bad mistake. When I decided to open the cafe I didn’t see the place and I came along to Hawick and there are already plenty of cafes, but it was too late because I was in London. I never saw this place.
“I wouldn’t have done that if I’d known the situation, no chance, not in Hawick. There is too much competition in Hawick and Hawick is dead, a dead place.
“People if they need shopping they go to Edinburgh or Glasgow or even Galashiels is better than here. Hawick has nothing, there’s only cafes, takeaways. There is no shopping for ladies clothing, Costa is opening now on the high street. Instead of Costa that big shop could have been turned into a Primark, or a Peacocks or a shoe place and attract people to come.
“I just made a bad mistake and I don’t know what to do. I have a lease for 10 years. It has not been the best decision. I had never been to Hawick before and did this on a friend’s advice. People in Hawick are very nice, they are very kind people, but there is nothing here for business. Hawick is not for business.”
The many cafes in and around Hawick High Street include The Almond Tree, The Pickled Orange, the Laughing Buddha, Sharpe’s Coffee Company, Expresso Cafe, Damascus Drum, Greggs, Costa Coffee, Morrisons and the cafe in the Heart of Hawick.