The retail sector is a hot topic right now, with the future of the High Street and the health of our Towns widely debated. Just a week ago John Lewis Partnership Chairman Sharon White called upon ministers to set up a Royal Commission, as a matter of national importance, investigating the problems faced by town centres.
Their belief being that this could take a long-term, holistic view of the challenges facing our high streets and the role they can play in the fabric of local communities. The idea being it would bring together leaders from business, hospitality, retail, housing and entertainment, local authorities, politicians and academics.
There’s no doubt it’s a complex situation, and one that requires experts. But some aren’t so sure this is needed to tell us what we already know. Retail expert Graham Soult says "I see how business rates are absolutely the biggest barrier to retailers opening, expanding or retaining stores. But everyone knows that – we need reform, not further confirmation of how broken the system."
He feels “…that solutions to High St challenges must be locally inspired & driven…it’s the local ‘place leaders’, such as politicians, businesses, landlords, agents & communities, who will together make positive change happen. Indeed, look beyond the headlines & many places are doing this already.”
It's something we have posted about previously after attending Association of Town & City Management’s 2023 Place Management Conference 'Whose High Street is it Anyway?' https://lnkd.in/eAaamReW?
The physical experience of a High St, whether for shopping, dining, or socialising is something that can’t be replicated online. It builds & maintains community and develops civic pride and identity. Being in a particular store, or a restaurant, shopping for a particular brand we love can create a feeling of being part of something special. It’s an area that we touch on in our latest Talking Local Podcast on #Retail with experts Tim Fairs, and Chris Lidington.
When it comes to retail Tim says there's something quite magical about the social aspects of ‘place’, it’s something you just don't get when you're buying online “you know we're quite sociable animals at heart & I think mixing with other customers on the shop floor, they've got the same passion & the same interest, it almost reinforces your purchasing decision, it's like being part of a tribe…”
If you are interested in how bricks & mortar retail brands can engage with local audiences in a challenging climate, then this We Are Acuity Talking Local podcast is the one for you.
Over 35 minutes we discuss the challenges of being a multi-location retail brand today. We discuss how to deliver brand value consistently & effectively across a network of local stores & how to leverage the advantages that come from bricks & mortar.
Here's the links to listen. Let us know what you think?
Your local retail partners, whether branches, retailers, dealers, franchisees, or affiliates they need your support and you need their's, get in touch with We Are Acuity today for a FREE marketing audit by clicking HERE.
Or if you'd like to read more about Local Marketing have a look at our blog page "Local Thinking': https://www.weareacuity.com/local-thinking-our-blog
#marketing #branding #retail #podcast