The timescale and practicality of implementing Mary Portas’ recommendations need to be addressed, PricewaterhouseCoopers has said in response to the Portas Review.

Chief retail adviser Christine Cross said: “The questions are around speed and practicality of implementation. We have already flagged that many retailers are finding they have too much space on the high street, as out of town and online retail grows, and reinvigorating town centres that rely on expensive and minimal car parking is a real challenge.

“Tax breaks need to be given to chains as well as independent entrepreneurs to stimulate the market.”

Mary Portas, who was hired by the Government to undertake a six-month review of the high street, has put forward 28 recommendations to how to save high streets.

These include changing business rates to be based on CPI rather than RPI to ease the high cost burden on retailers, loosen legislation to make it easier to change the use of key properties on a high street, address empty spaces and encourage a more community-led approach to managing the high street.

Cross added: “The review gives some welcome cheer for the UK high street with ways to boost footfall and lower operating costs.  

“Certainly the revival of town markets for both food and non-food would stimulate small producers to focus on the consumer and provide some additional theatre on the high street.”

Multichannel Now

While Mary Portas offers a bricks and mortar approach to reviving the high street, the new Multichannel Now report reveals where your customers are going, and what your competitors are doing about it.

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