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The failure of the Victoria homewares store and what it means for The Station

For those who don’t know, the Victoria was a bespoke store filled with beautiful wares made by makers and artists from across the country and beyond.

The old Newcastle station is once again up for discussion, with some conflicting headlines splashed across local news outlets and fiery (albeit heartfelt) comments thrown around on social media. The Victoria will no longer occupy the old station space and I for one would like to know why.

I mean personally, I feel as though the old station should have been used as well… a station since it was located on the rail corridor but I guess someone thought that was a bit of a waste of time, but that’s clearly beside the point.

For those who don’t know, the Victoria was a bespoke store filled with beautiful wares made by makers and artists from across the country and beyond. The store and space itself was beautiful, and personally, I think the team behind the concept did an incredible job.

The Herald reported that Renew Newcastle had been under considerable pressure from overarching body Revitalising Newcastle, to make the station a successful and revitalised space. But personally, I don’t think it really matters what the space was used for. Because unfortunately until the whole public transport/traffic situation gets its shit together, it’s a tall ask to get anyone to venture out of the burbs and into the city.

For example, a portion of the newly constructed light rail line was covered over to accommodate Air Bnb’s biggest weekend of Newcastle revenue aka the Supercars and the whole thing seems like that episode of The Office where Michael talks about getting and subsequently reversing his vasectomy numerous time. Snip snap snip snap.

I personally really feel for all those behind the Victoria and to see their tenancy cut short is really disappointing. The Victoria is a small business after all, and these things take time and space to find their feet. Added pressures from governing bodies to make the space an epicentre for a city that many argue is slowly yet surely losing its charm, is a tough ask for anyone. For anyone who knows the team behind the Victoria homewares venture, you would have seen and experienced their success first hand. If anyone was going to do the newly revamped station justice it was them.

I just hope that whatever or whoever else occupies the space next isn’t faced with the relenting pressure of keeping the CBD afloat and is immune to the pressure of whoever decided that not using the rail corridor for the light rail was a good idea. Whoever you are that’s trying to save face in some feeble attempt to not lose your job, don’t take it out on small businesses and/or ventures who are just doing their best ok? Ok. Glad we had this chat.

Written by Laura Kebby

I write words about talented people doing talented things, and translate chatter by putting pen to paper.

One Comment

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  1. You need to look at it differently – what about all the other Renew/Revitalising concepts that have come and (mostly) gone in the mall? Where are the posts recognising their losses?

    Ultimately, why did The Victoria fail? Failure to understand the market, failure by Renew to advise The Vic of these things (restrictive zoning could be the coffin nail?), lack of business nous, set-in-their-ways opacity of vision, total and complete failure to acknowledge business risk, dramatic failure to diversify. Then again it could have just been an interim pawn for whatever may inhabit that waste-of-space next, something even more exclusive and less patronable.

    No one has a daily urgent need to seek out the most homewares and if you think it is the hottest spot to support then good on you but the total lack of support of other revitalisation attempts by the same in-crowd sobbing that there is no rush for their products should put them in their place.

    Just because the person/people running The Vic are well connected and are able to get their mates to cry afoul does not mean their voice is louder than all those who got pushed out of their Renew tenure also. Keep that in mind and realise exclusivity and piousness are business killers in Newcastle.

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