The High Street is in decline, we’re told, with an average of 16 shops shutting every day across Britain.
But Market Harborough (fingers crossed) still seems to be bucking the trend, and attracting new shops to a thriving town centre.
A new café with an emphasis on healthy eating has just opened on the town’s Adam and Eve Street.
A new gift shop and a new pre-school / natural foods shop have launched or are about to launch on Church Street.
Two small shops are coming soon to Miller’s Yard, through the archway next to Hobbs Fishmongers on Church Square.
And a major national pets supplies chain is looking to open a branch in the former Brantano shoe shop premises on Springfield Street.
The family-run cafe and take away Amore Mio, on Adam and Eve Street, specialises in freshly prepared dishes, juices and smoothies as well as cakes and coffees.
Owner-manager Naiane Serafin discovered the power of healthy eating after successfully trying natural treatment for her gallstones.
Naiane said: “With my Brazilian-Italian heritage I have a real passion for good food.
“I also want to show people that healthy dishes can be even more delicious than unhealthy food.”
The new gift shop on Church Street opened earlier this year.
It’s TJ Thornton’s Lifestyle and Interiors, and related to Thornton’s popular jewellery shop on Coventry Road.
Opening early next month on Church Street is Nature’s Pantry, “natural solutions for food and play”.
Downstairs it will have a shop selling all sorts of wholesome food, including smoothies, salads and grains, run by Matthew Wray.
Upstairs will be a pre-school, run by former celebrity children’s nanny Emma Steed.
It’s the first retail venture for the Harborough couple.
American sweets and groceries store Randalls is also opening a branch in Market Harborough - on June 4.
The shop, owned by Harborough born-and-bred Jarrod Burke, will be in Millers Yard, through the archway next to Hobbs Fishmongers.
“It’s going to become a little mini shopping arcade” said Jarrod.
The new shop will be directly above Hobbs, which means the existing Amy’s Vintage clothing shop will move up a floor.
Also due to open soon in Millers Yard is quirky independent gifts and homeware shop Ginger Kate.
Meanwhile Pets At Home has applied to Harborough District Council for permission to extend the former Brantano site.
The company wants to install a mezzanine floor to the existing retail unit, which will incorporate a Vets4Pets facility as well as pets and pet supplies.
Vice president of the Market Harborough Chamber of Commerce Alastair Campbell said: “I think we’re bucking the national trend for two reasons.
“Firstly we’ve got a good mix of national retailers and really interesting independent shops.
“And secondly the council has done a very good job in not having too many out-of-town retail outlets.”