The shift to online shopping, accelerated by the pandemic, and the high cost of business rates has pushed thousands of businesses to the brink and forced big-name brands to shut shops. Former high street titan Debenhams has been sold to online retailer Boohoo without its 124 department stores, meaning it will disappear from the high street completely.
But despite the impact of the pandemic on footfall across the city, a physical store in a prime location is still crucial for up-and-coming brands looking to expand their customer base and offer experiential retail once lockdown eases. With high-quality, large retail assets coming to the market for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, less established brands jumped on discounted central London property in the final quarter of 2020.
High streets across the UK will have to shrink, but is there a potential temporary use for increasing empty stores? Can meanwhile attractions bring people back into their local high streets? How can local communities be actively involved in reshaping the future function and form of town centres?
This NLA Breakfast Talk presents ideas for the future of retail on London’s high streets, learning from the challenges of the past year and looking for opportunities ahead.
00:00 Welcome from Chair
01:25 Pop-up platforms
16:28 Reigniting town centres
, Voids Activation & Pop-up Project Manager, Westminster City Council
27:46 Panel discussion
Speakers above, plus:
27:36 Denizer Ibrahim
, Head of Retail and Futuring, L&G