Portas: Convenience is High Street Growth Driver

A report released today by Mary Portas three years on from her review of the high street has acknowledged the importance of convenience stores as driver of high street growth and the progressive work of the Future High Street Forum.

Commenting the change in consumer spending and move to convenience shopping Portas said “Since the economic downturn, careful consumers now prefer to buy little and often and do so in the shop around the corner rather than out of town superstores… And here’s a note to the supermarkets, if you’re moving back, be prepared for a fight. The local independents aren’t taking it lying down anymore”.

The ‘Think Piece’ from Mary Portas ‘Why our High Streets Still Matter’ also sets out the challenges that remain for high streets such as out of town retail parks a references independent research: “According to independent research for the Association of Convenience Stores in November 2013, 76% of the new retail floor space given planning approval since the new national planning laws came into force is located outside of town centres. Of the 43 developments permitted, 5 were in town centres (12%), 7 were edge ofcentre (16%) and 31 were out of town (72%).”

ACS Chief Executive, and Chairman of the Policy Group for the Future High Street Forum, James Lowman said: “ ACS welcomes Mary’s latest contribution to the debate, in particular the recognition of convenience retailing as a driving force behind high street growth and diversity. We continue to be committed to working with Mary and the Future High Street Forum to deliver sustainable and diverse high streets.”

“The report correctly acknowledges the need to strengthen and enforce town centre first planning policy at local and national level. Our evidence, based on a huge sample of half of local authorities in England, has clearly identified the National Planning Policy Framework is not driving new investment in town centres. When developments go out of town they undermine the good work of local groups and authorities try to reinvigorate their high streets.

The ‘Think Piece’ from Mary Portas ‘Why our High Streets Still Matter’ is available here and ACS’ Report ‘Retail Planning Decision under the NPPF’ is available here.

This entry was posted by Chris on Fri, 30/05/2014 - 09:00