HAVANT has too many hairdressers and needs more retail shops in order to boost footfall, it has been claimed.
Traders say the number of hairdressers and barbers has increased significantly in recent years, with 15 currently located in the town centre.
Ian Russell, who runs Ian’s barbers, in Park Road South, Havant, said there were around five or six hairdressers and barbers there when he opened 14 years ago.
He said he would like to see more diversity of shops and a cap should be put on businesses of the same nature.
‘I don’t think we can have any more hairdressers in the space we have here – it’s ridiculous,’ he said.
‘It’s getting to saturation point. There’s four just along my street.
‘Havant definitely needs some different shops, rather than just coffee shops, charity shops, barbers and hairdressers.’
But Terry Jordan, chairman of Havant Business Association, said there is no way of capping the number of types of businesses in the area.
He said: ‘It would be down to the landlord – and landlords can’t really afford be choosy. I agree that there are a lot (of hairdressers) – around 14 or 15. But they seem to survive. There is only one I can think of that has gone out of business in the past seven years I‘ve been here. But they keep springing up all the time.’
Paula Orton, the owner of BodyWorks, in the Meridian Centre, said: ‘About a year ago it was a bit of a worry, because new shops invariably offer deals. But, as long as you are confident in your product, service and staff, you will survive.
‘A bit of competition is healthy. What I’d really like to see in the high street is a Marks & Spencer or John Lewis.
‘The empty unit next to Waitrose would be perfect for a John Lewis, even it was just a home store.’
She added: ‘More and more have sprung up and that’s to do with programmes such as The Only Way is Essex which inspire people to look after and primp themselves more.’
Council figures show there are 15 salons in Havant town centre, six in Waterlooville town centre, seven in Emsworth, four in Leigh Park’s Greywell Centre, three in Purbrook, eight on Hayling and four in Cowplain.
Cllr David Guest, who represents Havant town centre, said the council would welcome more retail shops.
He said: ‘We would welcome more but it’s a hard task on the high street. People’s spend is lower than it used to be.’