Retail expert claims the High Street is not dead

UNIVERSITY NEWS LAST UPDATED : 07 NOVEMBER 2012

Chris Edger, Professor of Multi-Unit Leadership at Birmingham City Business School, has hit out at talk that the High Street is dead.

He says that although some of Britain's High Streets are in deep trouble – with Comet the latest chain to announce it's going bust, leaving 6,500 jobs at risk – there are ways the retail industry can survive and prosper in our town centres.

Talking in a new video and podcast, he says success is down to getting the retail balance right and having good business leaders.

He explained: “Many high street chains had got up to 700-800 units in the UK. They are now finding that these sites have become uneconomic and that the coverage is actually not required. This means there is a lot of space opening up – and there’s a domino effect as footfall disappears.

“The pessimist would say that’s it – in places where there’s 20-30% vacancy rate it’s the end – but the argument needs to be made that with a lot of local leadership the high street can begin to prosper again. You have to scotch the notion the high street is dead.”

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