Bruce Millers: a further example of the changes in Aberdeen City Centre
Many of Aberdeen’s musically inclined citizens will have read last week of news regarding the commencement of demolition works to Bruce Miller’s former shop in Union Street with a certain degree of regret. Another pillar of shopping, as it used to be, now due for redevelopment in the improvement of the west end of Union Street.
Bruce Miller was, for many years, a “name” in Aberdeen. I remember dashing from Robert Gordon’s College, with pals, at lunchtime, to their shop in George Street, (yes, a long time ago!) to listen to the latest chart toppers which staff at BM would play for us to listen to on headphones. I doubt it was an economic exercise for them, but the goodwill it engendered lasted a lifetime. During my progression through life I have purchased hi-fi equipment, musical instruments, music, radios and TVs from BM. One shopped with confidence at Bruce Miller because the staff were always knowledgeable and, generally, helpful. Not always an Aberdeen shopping experience.
After moving to their Union Street premises, as time passed and habits changed, a wider range of services was offered – a newsagent type outlet was incorporated on the ground floor and a restaurant was opened, upstairs. The combination of good honest food and reasonable pricing ensured steady custom.
We are told that “traditional” levels of service in retail are not what we want, and the growth of online shopping bears witness to that, but it is sad, nevertheless, to see another of the valued retail outlets that generations of Aberdonians came to rely on, perhaps took for granted, being redeveloped, with the consequent loss of a valued business.
The regeneration of the City Centre is an important objective and is to be encouraged. There are huge developments ongoing further west in Union Street which, together with this latest start up indicates a confidence on the part of the developers in the future of the city centre west end. The presence of good shops should be part of this and, while there are some of the national “intruders” – betting shops, for example - in this area, there are, still, established local retailers, to be cherished and supported. They deserve our support, and we will miss them if they go.