High Street Rescue Plan: Bid To Save Shops
High street shops are being given a stark warning - change, or join the growing list of casualties who have collapsed in recent months.
The Government is setting up a national Future High Streets Forum to make sure other retailers do not go the way of HMV, Blockbuster, Jessops and Comet.
Leaders from retail, property and business will try to come up with ways to revitalise town centres, building on work that retail guru Mary Portas has already begun in 27 areas of England.
They will focus on getting the High Street to adapt to meet the changing needs of consumers by offering mentoring.
Local Growth minister Mark Prisk said that involves understanding the biggest threat to retailers.
"We shouldn't underestimate the challenge the online market represents," he said.
"It's a growing part of all our habits as consumers. We must make sure high streets adapt.
"Government has a role in that, at looking to make sure, as we are, that we have strong planning, but also councils have a role, businesses have a role, landlords have a role. We want to bring them all together, drive this forward."
The forum will investigate ways of improving parking, allowing commercial landlords to turn part of their building into residential property to bring more people into town centres, and making sure high streets are given priority when it comes to planning decisions.
It will also look at ways to increase the number of pop-up stores, which is something that Pam Honour, who regularly visits one in central London, welcomes.
She said: "I think it's a lovely idea. It's a nice variety if you go past this street every day, see something different every couple of weeks. Marks & Spencer changes its shop window every two days so why shouldn't a pop up shop do the same?"
Despite more of us turning to the internet to do our shopping, pop-up retailer Sophie Brittain said there was still a place for the high street.
She said: "You still kind of want the aesthetic, the touch, the feel, the smell. In our case we've got soaps and room scents and candles, but when you buy things online you can't know exactly what they're going to be like."
Another pop-up retailer, Nikki Connor, agreed, saying: "I think there's a place for both.
"People still like to go to the High Street and they still like to shop online for ease and to make sure that you get the size that you want, so I think there's room for everybody."
A £1m Future High Street X-Fund will be awarded to areas with the best ideas for rejuvenating their town centres. The winners will be announced in March.
what do you think?
How can shops compete when they've got excessive rents and rates plus all their other overheads - landlords getting too greedy and forcing businesses to close - surely it's better to have some rent than no rent?
couldn't have put it better....high rents greedy council,shoplifters that the courts are lenient on and the internet are killing the city centres/high streets.
So, shopkeepers are to be given mentoring by the government. What about the other measures Portas suggested, such as lower parking charges and a stop to otside of town shopping centres? Councils go for new shopping centres because they need the extra rates revenue and saying 'yes' is better than balancing their budgets. Landlords also have a role to play - perhaps rates relief for empty premises should be revised to encourage them to lower their rents so that shops do not go out of business. By the way, who will provide the mentoring? A civil servant, local government oficer, politician or a spotty kid straight out of university who is a bank's 'business adviser'? None of whom knows anything about business.
What a cheek the goverment saying" change or join the growing list of casuties." When its the councils fault that the high street shopping centers are dying.1. Too many large supermarkets being built, often next door to each other and too close to town centers.2. The high street rates that these shops often have to pay is far too high.3. The lack of car parking facilities 4 .the extortionate price of car parks and fears of being clamped or even worse.5. Lack of toilet facilities . It can come to know surprize to the goverment as to why the high street is dying.personally i think the the small shop or business in the high street and the market trader are a thing of the past , with the monopoly that the supermarkets have
Oh no, not another action plan, more jobs for the boys. People have deserted the high street because they've turned to the internet. How do you reverse that trend ? Young people buy music that does not tangibly exist, it goes through cyberspace, through computers, and ends up on the MP3. They know very little else. I used to go on the bus to buy my LP record, (showing my age now), you could hold it and feel it and read the cover, it existed ! But where do you go now for that experience ? No panel of experts can turn back the clock.
How do pop up shops help all the retail staff who have lost jobs
Jeremy clarkson had the best idea,remove all double yellow lines in town centers,think about it its not as daft as it sounds and perhaps lower rents and lots of nice new modular toilets
Easy stop the big supermarkets stealing everyones business,there is nothing they do not sell or want a big stake in,and in doing so have caused inflation with their price fixing,ruined town centre businesses.Also they have caused the demise of many UK manufacturing co's with their 'buy it cheap from China' sell it at top dollar,not to mention the negative effect on balance of trade figures.
I have tried to continue to go to shops, but I'm afraid that now shopping has become a less enjoyable experience, they'll have to change pretty radically to compete with my comfy sofa and warm fire from which I can shop online without being served rudely by some buffoon. The whole experience of shopping has changed completely. The most irritating problem with shops in my opinion has been under trained, rude and ignorant staff. Many will be wonderful, of course, but in my experience, far too many have been surly and haven't even looked in my direction or stopped babbling to their pals long enough to stuff my change into my hand.
We are not all like that if you don't mind me saying. It is not always nice on the other side of the counter. My daughter works with me she has been sworn at.. We do try to do our best but customers can be just as rude and we have to take it
My reference to the many who are wonderful would suggest I do not indeed think many are like that. I agree that when customers are rude, it's horrible (I have seen that and have felt very sorry for staff at these times). My point is that I dislike being ignored by shop staff when I smile and am polite or even try to make small talk with them at times. It happens far too often - as are customers rude! Neither should happen.
Ta for that, it is difficult sometimes ro keep smiling and making small talk when you have worries on your mind
cut the rates on shops and pubs but the councils dont ..they think every shop is making a mint....shops pubs pay rates at over 300% the normal person...dont the idiots in charge stop and thing some money is better than no money...if shops pay little rates and every year make thousands take a % of them . but again maybe its just me seems to easy
tj hughs closes by us opens up again as "cheap shop" before xmas selling cheap imported goods with signs by the tills "cash only" now closing STINKS!
Pop up shops? POP being the operative word! Or perhaps pooffff, disappear in a cloud of smoke. Where do you go after buying faulty goods from a pop up shop which no longer trading?
Councils themselves have killed the high street by allowing out of town development on the false promise of creating thousand of jobs - what they fail to take into account , is the businesses they will put out of business when sales drop off in the high street and the loss of jobs. major shops cherry pick, stocking only the high sellers i.e top 20 CDs, this takes enough business away from the specialist shops to force them to shut, reducing choice, not increasing it as the supermarkets would have us believe.
Free parking for two hours would be a great help, but that is too easy.