While it is excellent news that Debenhams Bedford store is not earmarked for closure as part of their initial plans, the threat of shutdown still hangs heavy around the shoulders of this historic shop as we await the announcement of a further 28 doomed stores.
Another major High Street retailer pulling the shutters down in Bedford would be another nail in the coffin of this once proud and thriving town centre.
The answer seems simple enough, Debenhams need more trade to make the business more viable.
We need to shop in the High Street more frequently. But for that to happen, the whole experience of shopping has to be more pleasant to attract shoppers into town.
Sadly, the town centre, and the High Street in particular, are a disgrace.
Even during the day, it is filthy and threatening, often with blood and vomit from the previous nights excesses still covering the pavements.
It desperately needs cleaning up, the cost of which should be met by the pubs and clubs whose late night customers cause this squalor.
For shops to survive, footfall needs to increase, but will only do so if those feet don’t have to constantly watch where they tread.