By Max Clarke
Government moves, announced today (Tuesday), to promote and protect the high street will be a positive step if they result in more support for all retailers and the town centres in which they do business.
Responding to the news the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is carrying out a review — lead by reality television presenter Mary Portas - the British Retail Consortium (BRC) says the emphasis needs to be on support-for-all rather than penalising success. There must be no attempt to restrict consumer choice.
The BRC wants a proactive approach to managing the country's town centres for the benefit of customers, communities, retailers and other businesses. The BRC's high street rescue plan sets out a range of priorities including; keeping business rates down, deterring crime and having good, affordable parking.
Stephen Robertson British Retail Consortium Director General said: "High streets are the heart of local communities and economies, providing jobs and essential services but some are in trouble.
"The Government is right to recognise the future of our high streets cannot be left to chance but it must take a positive approach that supports retailers of all types and sizes.
"Independents are a vital part of an attractive retail mix but so are the big names. Ultimately it's customers who have the power in retailing through the shopping choices they make. This review should not seek to restrict that choice by making life harder for any particular category of retailers."