The future of the iconic Town Hall chain was in doubt last night as its owners struggled to find investors ready to take on the troubled brand.
Town Hall has been a mainstay of Britain’s urban landscape for generations but in recent years has suffered a decline in popularity as consumers found that the group no longer catered to its needs.
Popular lines such as public libraries, health programmes and care homes have all been discontinued, leaving loyal customers confused.
“We’ve seen a shift away from Town Hall footfall as its core market has moved towards other resources,” said local government expert Tom Clarke. “Although in most cases these other resources can best be described as ‘no resources’”.
As Britain moves to David Cameron’s vision of an every-man-for-himself economy, the struggling high street chain is facing a bleak future. Question marks remain over the fate of the distinctive Town Hall building themselves, with their trademark Portland stone entranceways, confusing signage and grudgingly added ramps for the disabled.
As to who might be prospective buyers, Mr Clarke was remaining open-minded. “The buildings occupy ideal town-centre locations but they’re generally colossal. The only retailers likely to take them over would have to be in the major league of UK retail. So we’re talking big boys like Oxfam and British Heart Foundation rather than, say, Notting Hill Housing Trust.”