‘After unprecedented times, we need some fresh ideas about retail property’

Ian Middleton

I’m not often given to quote from the Bible, but the phrase “there’s nothing new under the sun” is hard to avoid when considering some of the approaches to post-lockdown retail right now.

For example, the temporary let, which morphed into the pop-up during the noughties, is now being rebranded as ‘meanwhile use’. Essentially the same principle, except with a name that suggests a prelude to something more permanent, which in the current climate may be a tad over-optimistic.

I’ve never regarded this practice, whatever its current euphemistic description, as being a solution to the problems of empty high streets. The difficulties with retail property are not temporary in nature and pretending they are doesn’t help shape a long-term solution.

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