A new initiative aimed at easing the decline of retailers in Britain’s busiest shopping precincts will launch this week.
Save The High Street is a coalition set up to support shop owners nationwide to help reduce the impact of Brexit on high-streets and preventing a repetition of a decline in retail shop fronts from the last recession.
In 2015, 17,975 retail spaces closed down compared to just 16,513 outlets opening.
Furthermore, research has shown that just under a third of unused retail outlets have been vacant for over three years. This is predicted to reduce retail jobs by a third over the next decade.
In response, the organisers behind Save The HighStreet put together an industry standard blueprint for successful local retailing, calling it the “connected digital high-street”.
They will launch their 10-pillar scheme to help retailers at an event on Wednesday, August 10, where speakers from Future High Streets Forum and IMRG will provide tips on how to update retail businesses into the digital age.
“A 10-pillar framework for successful modern retailing will be presented to an audience of shopkeepers, giving structure to the onslaught of services and technologies available," SaveTheHighStreet.org director Lyndsay King told the Retail Gazette.
"We want to gear all shopkeepers with the tools they need to grow their business.
“SaveTheHighStreet.org provides a free platform for retailers to seek the services and information to achieve business growth, and a place for the industry to unite and show support for local shopkeepers.”
Key targets for the campaign include independent retailers who are struggling to integrate online retail and digital aspects into their business.
“We are focusing on reaching independent retailers, whether large or small," King said.
"For the London launch we have a SaveTheHighStreet.org street team on the ground visiting 500-plus shops in central London face to face and hand delivering invites to the event on 10th August.”
Google’s digital garage - who provide free online training - will also hold an event in October, which retailers are encouraged to attend to polish their computer skills.
“We are working with a number of service providers, retail associations, and government bodies to showcase the available support for businesses," King said.