In an initiative recently announced major retailers have pledged their support to local towns by providing High Street Champions.
The Co-op, Boots, Marks & Spencer and Wilkinson are just some of the high street retailers that say they are going appoint a local store manager to work in the community, to advance the revitalisation of their local high street.
Town centre manager readers will probably be wondering what all the fuss is about. There have been multiple retailer representatives on town centre partnerships over the past 20 years in the UK. However, over time, the initial enthusiasm from retailers like Sainsburys has reduced as has their their financial support.
Of course it is important to have all high street stakeholders working together. However, UK retailing is very centralised and hierarchical in decision-making. After the initial fanfare, just how involved local store managers can get into the ins and outs of the problems facing local high streets remains to be seen. Nevertheless, it makes sense. Not just to the high street but to the retailers themselves. Whilst multiple retailers benefit from national economies of scale, they all serve local markets. Having a better understanding of their contribution to the overall high-street product that serves a specific target market sounds like good business sense.
You can read more about the initiative at www.retail-week.com/property/mary-portas-high-street-review-/retailers-offer-up-staff-to-support-portas-pilot-schemes/5048263.article