THE RETAIL BULLETIN - The home of retail news
HOME
RETAIL NEWS
RETAIL EVENTS
Fashion
Department Stores
Shopping Centres & Retail Parks
Home & DIY
Electricals
Health & Beauty
General Merchandise
Entertainment
Sports & Leisure
Retail Solutions
Food & Drink
Interviews
RETAIL INSIGHTS
RETAIL SOLUTIONS
ABOUT US
CONTACT US
SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE
Future of High Streets can’t be left to chance

A bright, post-recession future is possible for UK high streets but they need to be actively planned, managed and nurtured if it is to be achieved.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Future of High Streets can’t be left to chance

A bright, post-recession future is possible for UK high streets but they need to be actively planned, managed and nurtured if it is to be achieved.

A new British Retail Consortium (BRC) report published today (Tuesday) shows the impact recession is having on town centre retailing - twelve per cent of town centre shops are now vacant, three times more than last autumn - but it also demonstrates that many of our high streets have been struggling for years.

High streets are at the heart of our communities and need to evolve as soci

ety changes but retailing will always be a fundamental part of successful town centres. It is clear that in many places, recession is accelerating a trend of decline that was already underway.

Alex Gourlay Chief Executive of the Health & Beauty Division, Alliance Boots: "With a branch of Boots on almost every high street across the UK, we are acutely aware of the vital importance of ensuring the long term vitality of our town centres. They help to define the nature of the communities which they serve, where people not only shop but also where they live, work and access essential services.

"Clearly these are challenging times for many UK high streets. We support the BRC report which, if delivered, will maintain and strengthen high streets' vitality and viability, ensuring they have a bright and prosperous future. We commend it to all those with a stake in the future of UK town centres."

The BRC's report 21st Century High Streets: A new vision for our town centres sets out a twenty-point plan for securing the long-term future of town centre retailing well beyond the end of this recession. Key recommendations include:

Economic health - Curing ill health is easier than reviving the dead. There should be a careful programme of economic health monitoring, especially for town centres approaching 'tipping points'.

Public spaces - Town centres need good design, making the most of heritage features or natural surroundings to create a unique sense of place. Then they must be very well maintained.

Crime - Real priority must be given to deterring all forms of retail crime and anti-social behaviour. To prevent a downward spiral, damaged property must be restored quickly.

Costs - High streets need central Government backing. There must be no new property and business rate burdens and a responsible and inclusive approach from local authorities to the money they raise and spend.

Access - Parking and transport policy should be directed at providing a service to customers and retailers, not exploited as a local authority fund raiser.

Stephen Robertson British Retail Consortium Director General said: "High streets are the heart of local communities and economies - providing jobs and essential services. They are a crucial part of our national retail mix but many of them are in trouble, facing difficulties that began well before the current recession.

"Some will flourish again as the economy recovers; others have to shape a different future as customers' needs change. But that cannot be left to chance. These processes have to be actively managed by local authorities with their retailers, other businesses and residents."

Email this article to a friend

You need to be logged in to use this feature.

Please log in here

Subscribe For Retail News

RETAIL EVENTS

Omnichannel Futures Conference 2019
Omnichannel Futures Conference 2019
6 February 2019
Cavendish Conference Centre, London WG1 9DT
A truly omnichannel offering requires an understanding of customer behaviour across all shopping channels and how this should impact your overall business strategy
Customer Engagement Conference 2019
Customer Engagement Conference 2019
5 June 2019
Cavendish Conference Centre, London W1
The 10th Annual Retail Customer Engagement Summit
The HR Summit 2019
The HR Summit 2019
Tuesday 8 October 2019
The Cavendish Conference Centre, London W1
The 11th HR Summit 2019, The Cavendish Conference Centre, London W1, 8 October 2019
AI in Retail Conference 2019
AI in Retail Conference 2019
16 October 2019
Cavendish Conference Center, 22 Duchess Mews, London W1G 9DT
Digitally native competitors and demanding customers are forcing a new perspective in retail. AI and machine learning can help you step up to the challenges; and some ‚Äėsmall and beautiful‚Äô solutions can increase your conversion rates within just a few weeks.
Payment Roundtable 2019
Payment Roundtable 2019
6 February 2019
The Cavendish Conference Centre, 22 Duchess Mews, London W1G 9DT
The Retail Bulletin Payment Roundtable will raise debate and discussion centred on but not exclusive to improving the in-store payment process