The growth in ecommerce, the much-discussed high rents and business rates, combined with lower high street and retail park footfall and rising wage costs have created the perfect storm in our industry – one that is proving very challenging to weather.
To some degree these elements are out of our control, however, as retailers, we have perhaps compounded this storm over the last decade by chasing retail space in the pursuit of sales – a race for space – without fully considering the optimum property portfolio or appreciating the impact of fast-changing macro trends.
When I became CEO of The Original Factory Shop (TOFS) in summer 2017, it was clear that change was necessary, for both the customer and the balance sheet, if we were to remain a presence on the high street.
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