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Death of UK High Street Retail is accelerating says British Retail Consortium
Death of UK high streets is accelerating and will only be saved by urgent coordinated national and local action, the British Retail Consortium warns.
Three times more town centre shops are now empty across Britain compared to last autumn, amounting to 12% of the total, the British Retail Consortium [BRC] report reveals today (21 July).
The report, “21st Century High Streets: A new vision for our town centres”, sets out a 20 point rescue plan to secure a long-term future for high-street retailers. In reality Duckhouse thinks the report is little more than a wishlist and in terms of Government priority is unlikely to find the finance or support required. Retailers are already moving to internet delivered services and the refusal of High street landlords to move away from upward only rentals on commercial shop property is only going to hasten the demise of the high street. Town halls don'tm help matter either actively discouraging shoppers who use motor cars and even in places like Peterborough in Cambridgeshire, disabled blue badge holders are seeing their parking spaces either removed or charges being applied.
The reportrecommendations include economic health monitoring of high streets, improved town centre design, crime reduction, reduction of costs such as business rates and improved parking access.
BRC director general Stephen Robertson says: “High streets 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,” he says.
“But that cannot be left to chance. These processes have to be actively managed by local authorities with their retailers, other businesses and residents.”
Meanwhile, high street clothing brand Next says it does not expect consumer retail spend to revive this year as it reported a slump in profits by 1.9% for the first six months compared to the same period last year.
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Julian Bray writes: The Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Explorer of the Seas had it not craftily diverted to Malaga and Lisbon for two overnigh...
Royal Bank of Scotland IT contractor ban sparks murmurs of legal action • The Register : Contractors told they will have to use an Umbrella Company rather than their own PSC... Or go onto PAYE!https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/11/19/rbs_it_contractor_ban_sparks_anger_and_talk_of_legal_action /