Over the last few months we've seen the old Debenhams store on Ravenside resurrected as M&S. As I type, and if I've got my facts right, the opening date is 29 November... I know my kids' friends are excited about the new part time job opportunities and rates of pay on offer, and who doesn't love the M&S Food Hall...
But, in conversations with independent business owners around town, some are concerned. Large retail stores bring people into town, people browse and use the independents located close by.
Will people park outside the new store and stop visiting town? I hope not, only time will tell.
There is an alternative, but it takes each of us to make a conscious choice not to desert the town centre, but to continue supporting Chesterfield's Independent shops and businesses! This is our attempt to raise awareness and try and persuade you to keep up the support for the town.
Below I've suggested independent businesses that offer alternative products, you can also check out unhampered-chesterfield.co.uk for a great list of local independent businesses, it's a fab way to seek out some great places.
OK, I can't think of an alternative for buying school uniforms from an independent but otherwise we've pretty much got things covered!
Please consider the impact of not visiting your favourite cafe for six months, you may turn up one day and find it's no longer there.
It would also be great if parking restrictions could be reconsidered to allow people to move between Ravenside and the town centre without running the risk of fines. I've seen systems in place elsewhere that would allow for this and work well.
We've heard rumours of a business relocating to the old M&S store but if you fancy setting up a new business, the old space would make a great social food hall with multiple street food vendors, bars, social spaces and games for all ages.
Apologies to the shops and businesses we've missed, we're just trying to stimulate thought. There are hundreds of great independents in Chesterfield and it's not possible to get them all on these two pages!
If you have a business and want to be included in the magazine please get in touch for an advert and a listing on Unhampered.
Text & Images: Paul Chapman