Closure of high street shops could result in ghost towns
Every year, we hear of more shops closing on the UK’s high streets and this is inevitable with all the destructive forces that are at play.
Out-of-town shopping centres; an outdated planning system that is not responsive to business; uncompromising councils that can’t innovate; property owners who incessantly put up their rents and councils that deter people visiting the high street by putting in place obstacles such as penalty fine bus lanes.
And then there are online retail giants, such as Amazon, who took £11.4bn of the sale of goods out of the UK economy last year.
So eventually the high street’s days will definitely be over for retail, and it is only a matter of a couple of decades, in my opinion, before town centres become purely leisure centres and high street retail sales are just a thing of the past.
And although this is the way that things are currently going, there is an even more severe case in that, without innovative council and business thinking, possibly ghost towns will emerge.
For, in this respect, all the major overwhelming forces are currently growing stronger without relent against the ability of high street retail shops to survive.
Dr David Hill
World Innovation Foundation