Mary Portas was recently brought in by Prime Minister David Cameron to report on the declining retail market in England – and to offer up suggestions for stopping the crisis. Her recent report contains 28 recommendations and a warning that the retail industry has reached a “crisis point.” The super-malls, out-of-town supermarkets and internet shopping are all creating this issue, she reports.
The Portas Review offers hope for a better retail future. As Mary Portas reports, “So I have come up with a model that gives an opportunity for other types of business to come on to our high streets.”
Just in the last two years, according to Portas, town center vacancies have doubled. She said, “We need to stop seeing our high streets as just shops. We now need to get people back into our high streets and that requires creating a place that is about enjoyment, creativity, learning, socialising, wellbeing, health.”
Miss Portas recommends that planners need to support town-center developments instead of new malls. She thinks that all mall applications need to be referred to ministers before they are approved.