Parliamentarians are to consider how to breathe new life into high streets that are suffering as online shopping grows and cost pressures increase.
The cross-party Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee is seeking submissions to an inquiry into what the high street might look like by 2030, The Guardian reported.
The committee’s chair, Labour MP Clive Betts, said: “Our high streets and town centres have an important social, civic and cultural place in our society.
“But, many of our high streets are now struggling, facing a range of challenges including the threat posed by online retailers.
“Changing trends and behaviours in recent decades – driven by a range of economic, demographic, social and technological factors – have affected the prosperity and vibrancy of our high streets.”
The inquiry came following the collapse of retailers such as Maplin and as others such as House of Fraser attempt to restructure by closing stores through CVAs.
Earlier this week Debenhams chairman Sir Ian Cheshire said town centre property costs are “killing more and more retailers”.
Speaking to ITV News, he called on the Government to reform business rates and for more flexibility from landlords.
He said: “What you’re seeing is retail facing more change in the past three years than in the previous 20.
“It’s a big structural shift which is basically saying old models have to be reinvented. If you’re starting out now you’d have much less space, much more online and much more flexibility. No-one will now be signing 20-year leases.”