Knowing the qualitative retail reality of your town centres

The Daily Post:- 13th June “Knowing the qualitative retail reality of your town centre”   I’ve walked on both sides of the retail High Street this week. On the one side I’ve been listening once again, as I’m sure you have, to more news of widespread store closures. This time it was House of Fraser. However what seemed so chilling on this occasion was the list of towns soon to be stripped of their flagship destination stores. There is something very finite about a physical list. There were also of course the various interviews with truly desolate local councillors and…

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“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…

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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…

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“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…

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“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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Accessible Expertise: The Independent Retailer Support Kit

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 achieve this change of role the bar of retail professionalism needs…

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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…

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