Boxpark boss Wade: Retail 'on the edge of a precipice'

Roger Wade

Boxpark boss Roger Wade has warned retail is “on the edge of a precipice” and urged the government to intervene to save Britain’s high streets.

Wade, who founded the fashion brand Boxfresh in 1989 before becoming a landlord through his pop-up mall business, called for “a root-and-branch review” of the retail sector.

Speaking at the World Retail Congress, Wade called on the government to reform the “ridiculous” business rates system, urged retailers and landlords to end “us-and-them” relationships and took a swipe at retailers for “running away from their debt” by launching CVAs.

Debenhams is the latest high-profile retailer to resort to the insolvency process after struggling to adapt to changing shopper habits.

New Look, Carpetright, Paperchase and Cotswold Outdoor are also going through CVAs in a bid to slash rents and scale back their bricks-and-mortar presence, while Topshop owner Arcadia is mulling a similar move.

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