GOOD news messages flagging up the town are adorning the Allders windows in a move to detract from the closed department store's rundown appearance.
Croydon Business Improvement District (BID) has joined Croydon Council and the Whitgift Centre in spending "several thousand pounds" to commission around ten vinyl posters that are now covering the shop's windows in North End and George Street and inside the centre.
The banners proclaim achievements made by the BID to improve the town centre, including £7.5 million of investment, brighter streets with extra flower planting, cleaner streets and events to attract more shoppers into the town.
Allders closed in September after 150 years in the town when new owners failed to emerge from the administration process.
Matthew Sims, chief executive of the BID, said: "As sad as it was to see Allders close, it has left a large footprint which needed brightening up.
"Croydon has so much to offer and there is so much going on and these vinyls bring colour and give people a flavour of what is being done."
He said being able to look into the empty Allders did not make the impression which the BID wanted to project.
Mr Sims added that the posters now offered a more positive view of the town.
He maintained that while the new posters made the point the town centre was far from dead, it was essential to its future success that a decision is made on the future of the Whitgift Centre.
Developers Westfield and Hammerson – owners of the Centrale shopping centre – are battling to redevelop the centre.
Mr Sims said: "We would urge everyone involved to make sure a decision comes sooner rather than later."
Andrew Bauer, director of the Whitgift Centre, said: "From the centre's point of view it was important that our near neighbours did not project a negative image of the town.
"So, we were more than happy to work with the BID."