I was interested to read the blog in DRUM by Scott McCubbin. Scott summarized the observations of several keynote speakers at the British Consortium of Shopping Centres Conference.
England was once known as a nation of shopkeepers. As Scott observes, this moniker has been replaced by the image of a nation of closed shutters, rusted padlocks and “To Let” signs. So many of the speakers at the conference raised issues and solutions that mirror those we often find in small cities and downtowns in the USA and Canada. These typically involve addressing the impact of big box stores on the outskirts of town, cross-community consultation, developing an attractive destination appeal for visitors and residents and creating a distinctive brand identity.
“The question isn’t how can high streets be saved, but which ones should we save?” was the grim conclusion by Justin Taylor of property consultants, Cushman & Wakefield.