The town of Lymington recently became the centre of national media attention when a shopkeeper launched a campaign to prevent retail giant Argos from moving into the town. Pippa Redman, who runs the Amanini clothing boutique in St Thomas' Street, was apparently concerned that the arrival of the store would "lower the tone" of the town and she even set up a petition to stop the company from taking over the former Waitrose store (which just happens to be right opposite her shop). Miss Redman was quoted as saying: "Everyone in the area is absolutely horrified by the news. Most people round here have never even heard of Argos. Once you get started with the likes of Argos then the next thing you know there's a Currys and all the other names like that - it would lower the tone of Lymington."
Miss Redman's remarks made headline news in last week's Lymington Times, and by Saturday all the national tabloids had picked up on the story and were having a field day with headlines such as the Daily Mirror's 'TOO POSH FOR ARGOS'. The Mirror article even went on to describe Lymington as a 'snooty sailing town'! But the s**t really hit the fan (fans now available from Argos - £8.99) when Miss Redman declared that Argos would be better off opening a store in the nearby less-affluent village of Pennington. This comment caused outrage (mainly among regular Argos customers who wouldn't be seen dead in Pennington!), and staff at Miss Redman's shop have since been subject to threats and the shop front daubed with graffiti (spray cans now available from Argos - £2.99 a can).
Retailers refused to comment on a leaked report suggesting that Miss Redman was now planning to make Lymington even more exclusive and upmarket. The report allegedly proposes that:
* The Brockenhurst to Lymington train service becomes First Class only
* Only vehicles that do less than 6 miles to the gallon will be allowed into the town
* The village of Buckland will be renamed 'Bouquetland'
* A checkpoint (with machine guns) to be established at the top of Stanford Hill to keep out any undesirables from Pennington
* The town's fish & chip shop to be retitled the 'Caviar & Gratin Dauphinoise Potato Emporium'
So, the big question is: Is Lymington too posh for Argos? Lymington CC's most upperclass player Guy Hayward was allegedly quoted as saying: "I personally don't shop at Argos, but I have several servants who do. In my opinion Lymington has never been the same since QS moved in. I do like Peacocks though - I have a pride of them in my garden." However, Club Chairman Peter Tapper was all in favour of Argos moving into the town. "Their catalogue is simply huge" he probably said, "I won't have to buy any toilet rolls for months".