The problem with roller shutters…

Achieving security for traders while also maintaining vibrant streets and thriving businesses is an important challenge. In recent years the solution to security concerns has often been to fit solid roller shutters across shopfronts, but this has contributed to the decline in popularity and prosperity of shopping areas.

This is because external roller shutters are rarely appealing to either shoppers or residents:

  • the siting of shutter boxes is not usually integrated into the design of the shopfront and often distorts proportions and cuts through architectural features, resulting in cluttered, unattractive shops & streets;
  • external shutters ‘deaden’ the street, particularly at night, creating an abandoned appearance, which often feels unsafe;
  • window displays are obscured, making the shopfront unenticing.

As a result, shoppers and visitors are deterred from the area, the streets become empty, trade declines, profits fall and a cycle of decline can set in.

Solid roller shutters are often undesirable even from a security viewpoint. For example, when shops are broken into from the rear, solid shutters allow a property to be emptied unseen from the street.

Alternative solutions

There are other ways that retailers can achieve security for their shopfront without compromising aesthetics, the viability of their business and the vibrancy of an area. Some good alternative, cost effective, options include using:

  • Toughened, laminated safety glass;
  • Removable external metal grilles, which can also be decorative;
  • Internal shutter systems of the‘brick bond’ open grille type;
  • Improved CCTV & policing;
  • A combination of all of the above.

The images opposite show examples of where this has been achieved successfully elsewhere. The THI team have held discussions with local officers from Strathclyde Police who have confirmed that shops using the suggested combination of security measures above are likely to be MORE secure than those with solid roller shutters fitted.

We are aiming to Get Govan Back Open for Business, and dealing with unattractive solid roller shutters is one of the ways we can do this – making central Govan a more attractive place to live, work, visit … and shop!