Ian Middleton: ‘Covid is a wake-up call for retailers and politicians alike’

Middleton, Ian

The pandemic has had a massive impact on our industry, perhaps greater than many others. But it can’t be blamed entirely for the way things are unwinding on our high streets and in our shopping centres.

While the virus has provided a convenient whipping boy for politicians and business leaders, most of the problems blamed on it were already there long before the infection broke out in Wuhan.  

The pandemic and the national response to it have merely brought forward outcomes that were already inevitable and provided a long-overdue wake-up call.

The commercial property proposition is well past its sell-by date. Landlords still hold out for unrealistic terms, while developers and investors are carried along on the momentum of projects that were conceived in a different climate.  

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