“The Independent Retailer Support Kit”

How town centres, high streets and independent retailers can evolve “Local Destination Stores” because being an independent retailer does not mean you have to be inefficient, unattractive, and uncompetitive.   In fact in the fight for retail traffic between competing town centres the role of independents is more critical than ever in creating distinct flavour and personality. When independent retailers escape the cloak of consumer invisibility and exchange it for the colourful and attractive garb of local destination retailers then shopping venues truly begin to attract attention, command respect and pull in the customer pounds that they so desperately seek. However to…

Continue reading

“Is Bluewater’s expansion killing Kent’s High Streets?”

Tim Radley, CEO VM-unleashed, interviewed on Radio Kent as part of its debate on retail in the county.   Bluewater Shopping Centre has recently been given planning permission for a number of expansions including a leisure development around its lake complex and the arrival of a new Primark flagship. Already under pressure from the regional super-shopping centre local towns are bracing themselves for another blow to their high streets. But is it really time to write off the high street as a shopping destination? Tim Radley expands on his points made in the breakfast show on Radio Kent – 29th…

Continue reading

Creating a collaborative “Mind-set” to change retail locations

Who’s the real competitor? Who’s the real enemy? The massive changes that have swept across this land and others, the decimation of high streets,  town centres and the taking away of the retail heart of communities, though tragic and physically real are the result of a shift in mind-set. The mind-set and shopping patterns of the customer.   And whilst there are a range of practical measures that must be taken physically on the ground and through legislation to create a viable landscape to rebuild these once flourishing centres, perhaps as much a challenge to this renaissance will be the process…

Continue reading

Retail Planning Workshops: Where to begin with your town?

Managing a single retail chain is complicated enough however when it comes to retail locations, town centres, shopping centres, retail and leisure destinations then simply the number of stakeholders and agendas involved can create an insurmountable complexity making the whole decision process impossible, never mind the delivery itself.   So if you’re in a quandary as to how to move forwards with a coordinated and workable retail strategy for your location then how to begin? One thing is for sure, effective change cannot be imposed but must be reached through discussion and consensus between all relevant parties. The successful delivery of…

Continue reading

From Independent Store to Local Destination Powerhouse!

Sometimes having your cake and eating it seems to be one of the few things that the retail customer can actually succeed in doing as they stroll the lengths and breadths of Britain’s struggling high streets. There are truly some inspiring and inventive concepts in the world of coffee shops and eateries or at the very least convenience and comfort. However culinary creativity is not enough to satisfy the customer appetite for quality, professional retail stores yet avoiding the predictable parades of “the same old shops!” A conundrum indeed for those trusted with providing a retail diet of substance, a…

Continue reading

Tim Radley at the “Placemaking Strategy Conference 2017”

The “Retail Strategy Planning & Physical Store Delivery” Workshop. Tim Radley, CEO of VM-Unleashed! will be speaking and addressing specific retail planning problems and questions at the… “Placemaking Strategy Conference 2017” Nottingham Conference Centre. March 22nd.    For placemaking managers, city councillors, BID Directors, town planners and all those responsible for the regeneration of town centres & high streets – the simple truth of a successful and thriving retail destination is that you need the right assortment of shops and you need each one to be as good as it possibly can be! It doesn’t take the proverbial brain surgeon but it…

Continue reading

Town Centre Retail Regeneration: The Complexity of Delivering Simple Principles

The simple truth of a successful and thriving retail destination is that you need the right assortment of shops and you need each one to be as good as it possibly can be.   It doesn’t take the proverbial brain surgeon but it does take a meeting of commercial minds, and the work of many hands to transform a simple theoretical plan into a living, breathing physical space. This process of many actions must be separated into two fundamental stages.   The first stage provides the strategic and commercial plan for any retail destination, and should involve an appraisal of…

Continue reading