Alcoholics, drug addicts and rowdy behaviour are putting people off shopping in Sheffield, a department store boss has said.
Cristian Sinclair, of Sinclairs on Glossop Road, said his staff have to clean up vomit or excrement from outside the store before their working day can begin.
And he warned he now faces closure, because customers are put off by a sea of takeaways, bargain booze stores and discount shops in the area – and prefer to go to Manchester, Leeds or Liverpool instead.
Cristian, managing director of the high-end department store, said: “There’s every unpleasant off-licence, bar or fast-food place you can imagine.
“If you are ever unlucky enough to be out on a Friday evening or Saturday morning, you have to put up with innumerable drunks, druggies and it’s not a pleasant experience.
“We will often come in to find vomit or excrement all over the place.”
Sinclairs has been a key fixture in the Glossop Road and West Street area since it first opened in 1967.
Its current, purpose-built premises opened in 2006.
Cristian said Saturday is now the store’s quietest day of the week.
He said: “It’s intimidating for people to walk down this street when shouting, swearing and all the rest of it is going on.
“It’s now a question of how the city sees itself. If the city is happy to see itself as this, then it’s not a place for us any more.
“We have to find something else to do and somewhere else to go.
“As a retail business it makes it impossible for us to be viable in this part of Sheffield any more.
“In reality it’s eventually going to force us to close or to move which is something we don’t want to do. We have been here for a long time.”
The owner of nearby cleaning supply store Killi’s, which has been open since 1964, has also experienced a decline in the area.
Tibor Killi said: “Every morning, I go out with my litter picker and collect all the rubbish thrown down.
“They treat the street as a dustbin. Some of these fast-food takeaways they throw away are half eaten and so sometimes there are rats running around the street.
“What has Sheffield come to?”
A Sheffield Council spokesman said: “West Street has predominantly featured bars, cafes and restaurants, sat alongside residential developments and a limited number of specialist retail units, for many years now.
“Trade on the street has benefitted greatly from the expansion of the university, which has brought thousands of students and staff to the area on a daily basis and to live.
“While it is true the night -time economy also brings crowds and problems as it does in most cities,
“Sheffield’s management of night-time safety and street cleaning has recently been recognised by the award of ‘Purple Flag’ status by the Association of Town Centre Managers.”