Wednesday, 7 August 2013

The High Street is dead long live the High Street

If you live in a grubby old house, and there is a dead mouse on the kitchen floor do you blame the cat for killing the mouse, or do you say the problem is a bit more serious than that? The High Street has some problems. This weekend the ‘Telegraph’ paraphrased a government minister saying the High Street was dead. The solution, however, is not to make online retailers pay more tax any more than killing the cat will solve the problem of a mouse infested house.

It is little harsh to say that Nick Boles, the planning minister, said the High Street was dead when what he actually said was :“People's shopping habits are changing very fast as a result of the rise in internet shopping and changes in lifestyle and working patterns.” He continued: “We need to think creatively about how to help town centres thrive in this new era. We want to encourage local councils to concentrate retail activity into the prime shopping streets in the heart of their town centres and adopt a more relaxed approach to underused retail frontages.”
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