The rebirth of the high street?

Claire Carmichael

Research shows that the best-placed retailers to galvanise the high street are those that can fuse shopping with communal leisure experiences

In August, Planning Minister Nick Boles made headlines suggesting that Britain's high streets should be transformed from retail to residential areas. With 14% of high street shops boarded up, and over 80% of UK adults feeling that town centre shops in Britain are in bad health (Source: YouGov/Channel5/ nVision, 2013), his plans were viewed by some to be a last ditch attempt to cut the cancer of retail decay on Britain's high streets before the onslaught of internet and out-of-town shopping rendered our town centres corpses. It is still early to tell what impact these plans will have, however initial data suggests that the plans themselves could be seen as a death sentence for high street shopping in its first stages of recovery and reinvention.