Larger retailers are a catalyst for town centres - Business Works
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Larger retailers are a catalyst for town centres


riticism of large and successful multiple retailers will be condemned in a speech to leading executives from across the sector today (Wednesday).

Luke Mayhew, Chairman of the British Retail Consortium (BRC), is due to tell todayís BRC Retail Symposium that multiple retailers play a central role in national and local economies and deserve to be appreciated as the most likely catalysts of high street regeneration. He will urge all UK Governments to focus instead on promoting and supporting town centres for the good of local people and businesses of all sizes.

Heís expected to say that "We should celebrate small and independent shops. But we should also appreciate large and multiple retailers, who often anchor our high streets and bring the footfall so desperately needed."

"They have managed to open new stores, attract investment and create jobs despite the downturn. To regard the success of these large national businesses as in some way sinister is ridiculous."

Instead letís use their growth as the catalyst to revitalise our town centres and provide the right environment for businesses of all kinds to thrive. Penalising the success of large retailers will not help their smaller retail neighbours, who depend on the footfall they draw, or their SME suppliers."

Speaking to more than 300 delegates at the annual conference, Luke Mayhew will also welcome the recent appointment of Mary Portas to carry out a high street review for the Government and will challenge the review to focus on the structural and political challenges facing many local high streets.

The top three priorities for helping our town centres, as identified in the BRCís "21st Century High Streets" report, are:

  • keeping costs down, particularly in relation to property and planning;
  • improving access for shoppers, particularly in relation to transport and parking; and
  • investing in town centres and proactively managing them.

For further information about British Retail Consortium:

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