Retail guru, Mary Portas has put together a report for the government which highlights the dangers of the diminishing high street. She has put forward 28 recommendations which will improve retail and business management on the high street so that small businesses will have a level playing field with large scale malls, like the new Stratford City Westfield shopping centre.
The report put together by the retail guru commissioned by David Cameron highlights a crisis point for small businesses, as consumers seem to be favouring online shopping and shopping malls.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) along with other small business representatives, have heavily supported the Portas review encouraging central and local governments to act upon it – with statistics such as 9000 out of the remaining 140,000 town shopping centres expected to close in the next three years.
Mary Portas has recommended in the review that high streets should look to invest in free parking and annual market days to prevent the decline of high street shops. She has worked with the new Stratford City Westfield shopping centre by developing a market stall idea at the mall. With stalls selling food goods, including fresh fruit and vegetables, ladies nightwear, jeans and flowers, to encourage people to shop at similar places on the high street.
In a recent statement she highlighted that the report is supporting the community, by encouraging high street shopping instead of mall and supermarkets, it is an ‘important part of pulling people together’, she said.
The report has been acknowledged by many in government, including David Cameron, but her work and recommendations are at the moment only research and ideas. The government need to act upon this review and implement the suggestions made by Mary Portas, for any changes to be made and prevent a further decline in high street shops.
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