The Mary Portas report puts forward a whole series of ways to build an infrastructure that town centre shops can capitalise on. I’m sure that several of her recommendations will be implemented and will make a difference.
My concern is that even with infrastructural improvements in place will enough local and independent shop owners have the skills to attract sufficient shoppers and get them to spend money? Some will be brilliant at it but as Mary’s TV series showed a large number of stores really need help to survive and make their businesses successful. The implication in recommendations 16 and 17 is that help will come from large retailers who will mentor local businesses and independent retailers. I’m sure that larger retailers can help but making smaller businesses successful will require a number of other well thought out forms of support too.
That is the big challenge.