MANY empty shops in Salisbury told the story of the pressures on businesses but with many new shops opening or expanding in recent months, is the city centre coming back to life?

The opening of large stores in the city such as Primark and Bradbeers may have made Salisbury more appealing to other retail outlets. 

Sian Currie recently opened her first Luxury Bubble shop on Silver Street in Salisbury. 

She said: “A high street should be a diverse mix of high street favourites and indies. For too long Salisbury has lacked that balance and as a result hasn’t been the first retail choice of enthusiastic shoppers.

Salisbury Journal: Sian Currie has opened the Luxury BubbleSian Currie has opened the Luxury Bubble (Image: Newsquest)

"With investment from larger retailers such as Primark and Bradbeers, Salisbury is really starting to look like a good shopping prospect again and what a backdrop. We have a glorious city - I’m so proud that Luxury Bubble can play a part in its resurgence.”

A spokesperson for Primark said: "We carefully consider multiple factors when choosing a new store, balancing the need to find a space that feels uniquely Primark.

"When we opened the doors back in September the large queues showed us the demand and support for the store. We are proud to be part of the Salisbury community."

Salisbury Journal: Salisbury resident Matthew WayneSalisbury resident Matthew Wayne (Image: Newsquest)

Resident Matthew Wayne is happy to see more shops opening. 

He said: "I am really pleased to see Primark here actually, as with two young children and needing to buy clothes, I am more of Primark fan than Bradbeers. I have always liked the market here as well."

Salisbury Journal: Southampton residents who come to see the Salisbury shopsSouthampton residents who come to see the Salisbury shops (Image: Newsquest)

Southampton residents Jackie and Ray Weston travel into Salisbury every Tuesday to do their shopping and have noticed substantial improvements in city centre shops.  

Jackie said: "On Tuesdays, Salisbury has as much to offer as Southampton.

"There is a Primark here now and a Bradbeers over the road and the cafes have been done up."

Read more:  A new 'feel good' retail space opens in Salisbury

Frank Pessell who works for a charitable organisation said: "I do think Salisbury centre is looking more alive now than before. We still have a problem as we are standing near empty units. Salisbury is still tired and still hasn't recovered back from 2018.  

"I hope that Primark is going to spark up business in the Old George Mall and Bradbeers will do that this side and to help the city get more buoyant. "

Read more:  Salisbury to turn orange as part of campaign

 Nick Hyde of Sarum Guitars in Cross Keys Shopping Centre is yet to feel the improvement. 

He said: "I haven't seen an upturn in the last two to three months and haven't seen an awful lot of Christmas trade. I think the decision Salisbury Council made with with all the works going on by the river and then, deciding to do Fisherton Street at the same time, it has caused more traffic disruption and people just aren't turning up."