Mary Portas finally revealed her 28 recommendations to revive the high street.
What’s in the box?
Pop-up mall Boxpark opened in London’s Shoreditch. It was built from shipping containers and comprises sixty 40 sq ft shops including Nike and Levi’s. Boss Roger Wade was considering further locations for the format.
Mary Portas finally revealed her 28 recommendations to revive the high street, saying town centre car parking needs to be slashed to woo shoppers back to town centre shopping. The report said that the way business rates are calculated should be reassessed and that each town centre should have a strategic management team. Portas said urgent action is needed to ensure Britain doesn’t lose “something fundamental to our society”, and said high street retailers need to adapt to stop consumers abandoning town centres.
“As long as we don’t have the snow that last year brought we should have a really good Christmas”
Cycles etailer Wiggle disclosed plans to open stores and focus on company and brand acquisitions after it was acquired by private equity firm Bridgepoint in a £180m deal. The retailer embarked on a growth strategy that will include opening its first shops in the next 12 to 18 months as it pushes its multichannel offer. In a move similar to fellow etailer Kiddicare, Wiggle will focus on large scale destination stores rather than high street shops.
Furniture giant Ikea had a good month as well, posting an increase in its market share and outperforming the punishing big-ticket market despite a sales slip. The retailer’s turnover in the UK and Ireland fell 3% to £1.15bn in the year to August 31, but market share increased from 6.1% to 6.3%.
The story hammered home how upbeat retailers were throughout the year in the face of apparent difficulty. Despite the Office for Budgetary Responsibility forecasting that household consumption will edge up just 0% to 2% in 2012, retailers keep finding reasons to be cheerful. After years of difficult trading they have become adept at navigating the harsh environment.
And anecdotal evidence started to trickle through that trading was picking up as December wore on. With a full trading week before Christmas – which falls on a Sunday this year – there was cautious optimism that customers would spend and Christmas wouldn’t be the wash out some had predicted.
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Mary Portas unveiled her long-awaited review of the high street, highlighting problems such as the lack of town centre management.