A report by the property industry has claimed that the traditional high street in Scotland is failing, and is effectively at a critical stage which needs to be urgently reversed.
The report from property company Colliers International said that customers need to be given an incentive to return to the high street. It said it needs to be reinvented, with greater flexibility into how town centres are planned.
Giving greater variety in the use of shops was one way Colliers suggested that authorities could help the ailing traditional shopping areas. It also suggested core services should be brought in, such as dentists, leisure facilities and a greater number of homes.
However, the report delivered a shot across the bows of retailers themselves, challenging them to take on out of town shopping centres.
Many retailers are already introducing innovative ideas into their structure to improve business. Much of this has focused on re-strategising finances, with the help of a factoring broker, for example.
However, greater efforts are needed, according to the director of Colliers Scotland. It is needed urgently too, with Tom Johnston saying:
“The next few years will determine the future of our high streets and we urgently need to create the right environment, which will allow these areas to find their new place in the community.”
Whilst the report was largely doom and gloom, there were some positives. Most notably of which was the predicted fall in empty floor space across the UK.
Presently, 12% of shop floors are empty, a number which is predicted to fall to 7% by 2020.