Lakeland Leather is seeking input from independent retailers as it prepares to present their views to a parliamentary inquiry on the health of the high street next month.
Martin Forster, the managing director of the Cumbria-based fashion and accessories retailer, is calling on independent retailers to tell him the trading issues they’re facing on their high street.
He has been selected on behalf of the British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) to represent independent retailers to MPs on the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee, who are conducting an inquiry on the health of the high street and town centres next month.
“This is an opportunity for our company to put forward constructive changes for independent retailers. Changes we want to see on our future high street,” Forster said.
“It is a great chance to comment on future plans for local retailers and to see how local communities can sustain and adapt to future challenges ahead.”
The inquiry seeks to explore the future role of the high street and its contribution to local economies and the health, cohesion and cultural life of local communities.
It will also examine the challenges faced amid changing demographic, technological and other trends in recent decades and how to overcome these.
The inquiry aims to open conversation and plan for a sustainable future for the high street so the committee of MPs are able to advise the government minister.
Topics to be discussed include business rates, the impact of online retail and past legacies of the Government’s previous work on the high street.
“Being an independent retailer allows us to be agile and quickly adapt to changing local trends,” Forster said.
“We strive for an enjoyable shopping experience for our customers on the high street and hope to accelerate our community presence in the future.”
He added: “The challenge is to make the high street multi-use. Focus on experiences for the local economy and preserving communities and the environment.”
Established in 1955, Lakeland Leather currently has 15 stores in various towns’ across the UK and recently invested in its web division and wholesale sector.
Independent retailers who would like to voice their concern can email firstname.lastname@example.org before December 3.