Retail veteran says plans to save high streets are failing
Monday 04 August 2014
The veteran retailer Bill Grimsey has accused the Government of “over-promising and under-delivering” on its plans to revive Britain’s high streets.
The former boss of Iceland and Wickes said the Coalition’s flagship proposals were failing after it emerged that there are now 53 more empty shops in the towns designated “Portas Pilots” .
The pilots, set up in the wake of a government review by Mary Portas, were intending to rejuvenate high streets, but it has since been discovered that several towns spent the extra cash on advisers and bizarre items including Peppa Pig and gorilla costumes.
Mr Grimsey, who has written an alternative high streets review, called on the new high streets minister, Penny Mordaunt, to address the major problems facing high-street retailers.
He said: “Ministers should stop exaggerating progress while tinkering in the margins.
“Let’s just look at the facts. There are over 40,000 empty shops in the UK, a figure that’s remained stubbornly high for years. High-street footfall is down on last year and retail insolvencies have just hit a five-year high. The British Independent Retailers Association has also reported that sales are down for small shops this year. Does this really point towards a high-street resurgence?”
The businessman, who was appointed a high-street advisor to Labour, called on Ms Mordaunt to push through her own suggestion of turning town centres into community hubs.
He said: “For many high streets this is the only chance they have of survival. They will have to look beyond retail where leisure, culture and health, for example, alongside much-needed housing, is the only way to bring back the footfall to support shops.”
- 1 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 2 Mystery man who gave mum heart-warming note on train 'wanted to put a smile on her face'
- 3 Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
- 4 Mafia's wall of silence broken: Victim of Cosa Nostra's extortion rackets in its Corleone heartland co-operates with authorities for the first time ever
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent answer to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
King Salman: Just five days in, Saudi Arabia's new king has already overseen a beheading
Mystery man who gave mum heart-warming note on train 'wanted to put a smile on her face'
Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
Amal Clooney gives excellent answer to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Mafia's wall of silence broken: Victim of Cosa Nostra's extortion rackets in its Corleone heartland co-operates with authorities for the first time ever
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
iJobs Money & Business
£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Technical Report Writer is re...
Competitive salary & benefits!: MBDA UK Ltd: MBDA UK LTD Indirect Procurement...
£16500 - £16640 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing Finance compa...