Chain Reaction

Our reaction to the little trip M&S has taken down to the Ravenside Retail Park.

A few months ago we watched as the old Debenhams store on Ravenside was  resurrected as M&S. It’s now been four months since the store opened, the excitement my kids’ friends had about the new part time job opportunities and rates of pay on offer has subsided, but hey, who doesn’t love the M&S Food Hall…

But, in conversations with independent business owners around town, some were, and still are concerned. Large retail stores bring people into town, people browse and use the independents located close by. 

Will people park outside the new store and stop visiting town? I hope not, only time will tell.

What we do know is some people are coming to the new store from the surrounding areas and then spending time in the town centre… come on all, let’s show them what a great offer we have here in Chesterfield.

There is an alternative to shopping at M&S, but it takes each of us to make a conscious choice not to desert the town centre, but to continue supporting Chesterfield’s Independent shops and businesses! This is our attempt to raise awareness and try and persuade you to keep up the support for our town.

Below we’ve suggested independent businesses that offer alternative products, you can also check out our listings for great local independent businesses, it’s a fab way to seek out some great places.

OK, WE can’t think of an alternative for buying school uniforms from an independent but otherwise we’ve pretty much got things covered!


Please consider the impact of not visiting your favourite cafe for six months, you may turn up one day and find it’s no longer there.

It would also be great if parking restrictions could be reconsidered to allow people to move between Ravenside and the town centre without running the risk of fines. We’ve seen systems in place elsewhere that would allow for this and work well.

We’ve also heard rumours of a business relocating to the old M&S store but if you fancy setting up a new business, the old space would make a great social food hall with multiple street food vendors, bars, social spaces and games for all ages.

Apologies to the shops and businesses we’ve missed, we’re just trying to stimulate thought, there are hundreds of great independents in Chesterfield.

If you have a business and want to be included in our listings on Unhampered please drop us an email ( to get things started. You can manage your own listing from £20.00 a month .