“The Fight for Retail Independence or Multiple Monotony!”

The Evening Post:- 14th March “The Fight for Independence” An interesting article caught my eye today from online research company Onbuy.com. Their survey was comparing the opening and closing of retail outlets by region of the UK, for multiples & independents.   It goes to show how things quickly change in life, and in retail in particularly, the most dynamic of industries. Because what jumps out from the findings is that in all but 2 of the 11 regions independent retail outlets grew whilst also in all but 2 of the 11 the number of multiple outlets fell. Concluding that in many…

Continue reading

“Where there are People there is Retail”

“Where there are people there is retail” however every retail location needs a commercial strategy and an inspirational delivery. Customer traffic is now dictating the location of retail. Freedom to travel and freedom to choose between online and physical shopping, between town and out-of-town, between the familiar and the unusual is changing the landscape of where people spend their money.   The retail location equation now includes not only town centres & high streets, retail parks and shopping centres but leisure destinations, transit centres from airports to railway and service stations, colleges and universities with the populations of small towns…

Continue reading

Retail Workshops: Where to begin with town centre planning

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

“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

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

Retail Locations Traffic Drivers: Trust, Friendship & Leadership

Traffic is the only thing that matters when it comes to creating successful and profitable retail destinations. It is the lifeblood that pumps money into the local community, creates vibrancy and confidence and attracts new and successful additional retailers to tempt yet more visitors into what rapidly becomes a positive traffic snowball.   This traffic does not happen by chance or by magic but is a result of a retail destination working very hard to deliver 3 essential attributes. Those 3 attributes can be defined as functionality, attraction and life.   The functionality of a town delivers ease-of-shop for the…

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

The Battle to Change Retail Location “Mind-Sets”

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