THE changing face of the UK’s retail scene has had a well-documented impact on Swindon town centre, with ‘closing down’ signs becoming commonplace in recent months.

And it seems one of the borough’s major shopping parks – at Greenbridge – is also feeling the pinch as it celebrates its 20th birthday.

Although Smyths Toy Store has plans to set up shop in Stratton St Margaret, the area remains blighted by big, empty units as it struggles to keep pace with the times.

Adver readers voiced their views on the retail park.

KAREN CURTIN: “I use Greenbridge a lot, they do need to fill the empty units though.

“Why don’t the council open up the old PC World unit and turn it into an indoor market, better than just leaving it empty and earning no revenue?”

SAM QUINCE: “It will be very sad if this goes as well.”

RACHEL SLEEM: “Shops have become boring and they sell the same old stuff year in year out.

“For example Homebase, why would you shop there these days, when you can go to a builders merchant and buy it for half the price?

“People will drive a little further to get stuff at a reasonable cost. People’s shopping habits have changed now.

“I wouldn’t necessarily blame the internet, I blame the companies for standing still and not listening to their customers.

“We are not shopping in the same way as 30 years ago but the shops are not figuring this out.”

MAT READ: “Greenbridge is no different from other out of town shopping areas or high street.

“I would say they are just unfortunate in that they’ve been home to a few shops who have consolidated or gone completely.

“Nothing to do with Greenbridge itself if businesses aren’t run properly to stay open.”

CHRISTINE CARD: “Only three empty units that I know of there – and try parking at the weekend, it’s always busy.”

GEORGIE HULBERT: “Somewhere for little ones to have a play would be so useful.”

JULIE TAYLOR: “We need a food store there, like a Marks & Spencer food or Waitrose. That will encourage people to stop on the way home from work to get essentials and pop in for bits and pieces.

“I hate going to a big supermarket for daily things like bread and milk . This will then bring traffic into Greenbridge who will then pop into the other shops.

“Someone needs to think about the long term strategy and not just open shops with no thought or foresight. Smyth’s would be a great addition, bringing families with young children, so think what else is there for them?”

DAVE HAINES: "I'm sure Swindon Borough Council's redesign of Greenbridge roundabout has had a knock on effect, which is a shame as I used to use it a lot when it was easily accessible."

ALAN WALKLETT: "It’s convenient for some shops. People shop online nowadays though - Amazon, you can’t beat it. Next day delivery, any issues they sort it out straight away.

"Times are changing, maybe we just need one modern shopping centre rather than shops spread out all over town. That way will draw people to all the shops at the same time to spend."

'GRIT THE OYSTER': "Shops are going to have to work harder for footfall as there are things they can do to make the experience of shopping more attractive than online. It's going to take creativity and motivated staff."

'DISILLUSIONED123': "Out of town retail parks are generally ugly and functional places. They are popular because of free parking and they have a lot more choice in bigger warehouse units than on the high street.

"But with internet shopping being even more convenient (you don't have to leave your house) and with even more choice, they lose their competitive edge.