Booming Grangemouth street is becoming a 'mini-town centre' with 60 tenants
As High Streets throughout the country struggle on in the aftermath of lock down and the growth of online shopping, one busy street in Grangemouth is enjoying a real resurgence.
While many businesses in other areas – even close by Grangemouth town centre – work hard to build up footfall and attract customers, Dundas Street is doing so well at the moment, the man who owns the majority of the premises on it believes it has become Grangemouth’s new “mini-town centre”.
Lex Miller, whose own Miller Bathrooms is located near the top of the street, just down from the Grangemouth British Legion, is known for his enthusiasm when it comes to talking business - but even he was struggling for words to describe just how well Dundas Street is faring at the moment.
He said: “It’s booming – it’s becoming a mini-town centre. We’ve got over 60 tenants on this street and many of them started their businesses from nothing.”
Lex says he is always willing to be flexible to help tenants out when they are just starting off.
One of the businesses prospering due to the Dundas Street magic – and its own great service and products – is Spoiled by Love Baby Boutique run by mum-of-two Gayle Stuart, from Falkirk.
Lex said: “Gayle started off in her bedroom. Now she has two premises on Dundas Street and is about to move into a third – all in a year-and-a-half.”
"I started selling from my bedroom floor,” Gayle confirmed. “Using Facebook to sell the items then saving up £1000 to buy my first big batch of stock and sell that. Then in May 2019 a small unit became available at the back of Dundas Street.”
Doing well from her new base, Gayle was able to move to a larger premises at 8 Dundas Street in July 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated lockdowns.
While many looked at the lockdowns as negative, Gayle looked at them as positively as possible, hoping all those lockdown babies would lead to her boutique being inundated by new parents.
Talking to The Falkirk Herald last November, Gayle laughed: “There’s definitely going to be a lot of new babies coming along in January and February thanks to the lockdown.”
And Spoiled by Love Baby Boutique is more than equipped to kit those little ones out in top quality – yet highly affordable – baby clothing and accessories, all on display in a spacious, attractive setting.
Customers can buy everything from all-in-one sleep suits, romper suits and dungarees to leather pram shoes, pom pom mittens and tutu socks – even a Diamante pink tracksuit – and best selling items include the Wee Me Tartan Dress.
Gayle said: “Our biggest aim is to offer the best items at affordable prices for our customers and use our knowledge of clothes to bring customers the best baby trends around.
“We pride ourselves on our customers service and our stock changes on a weekly basis, so people should follow us on Facebook to keep up to date with our new arrivals.”
Dundas Street has certainly worked out well for Gayle over the last year-and-a-half.
She said: “When the bigger shop became available I just thought, I’m going to go for it.
"It’s been the best thing I’ve done. I’m from Falkirk and have a large following on Facebook but some people still didn’t know I was here because I was in the unit at the back.
"So it was the best decision I’ve ever made going for the bigger shop. It’s half and half really – you have a lot of customers coming into the shop and you also have a lot of people ordering online.
"The street is great – the businesses all know each other and we all support each other. I don’t want to leave this street it’s so good."
Gayle is doing so well at the moment she is looking to expand her business once again.
Normally that would mean a move elsewhere to find a larger premises, but, as luck would have it, the shop front next door became available, allowing Gayle to use that to extend her shop so she can grow her business without having to leave Dundas Street.
Gayle herself admits she is one of the new shops on the block, but Dundas Street’s longest established business Thomas Sneddon Funeral Directors has been in the street for 15 years.
Tom Sneddon, who runs the business with wife Mary, said: “The bulk of the businesses in this street originated in Grangemouth town centre. Dundas Street is a location that certainly offers a full range of services.
"We have been here for around 15 years so we are well established. We come from a professional background and are one of the few companies in the area that hold industry recognised professional qualifications.”
The team at Thomas Sneddon are members of SAIF (The Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors) and the BIFD (British Institute of Funeral Directors) and abide by a strict code of practice.
Mr Sneddon believes Dundas Street has allowed the family firm to do its bit for the community overt the years.
"It has always been a busy street – a lot of people have shopped in this street for many years. The businesses are all prominently displayed on the road. As for ourselves, our business is built on trust and word of mouth and Dundas Street has been the perfect place to establish this.”