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The good work continues and it’s all about the customer’s experience and the retailers taking responsibility. 

 

We are working with five Town Centres across the UK at present, supporting independent retailers and enhancing the town environment.  We support shop owners and councils in many ways; however, the crucial point is the shopper experience before, during and after the visit to the store.  Whilst independent and local stores can control the customer experience within their store, there should be a collaborative approach to have an impact on the town visit experience.

 

WE hear a collective groan from managers and owners, who over the years have experienced meetings of Traders Associations and Town Centre Groups ‘banging on’ about parking and rates.  After a couple of months, the conversation among the same four people who do turn up changes to, “is it all worthwhile”? In the past, traders have also looked to the Local Council to take the initiative and solve all problems. This not going to happen; with budgets cut and reduced resources - this is no longer possible. However, forward thinking councils are supporting those groups by taking the initiative.  The town’s shopping and service experience enhances or detracts from the perception of the town and the quality of life of the population; if the shops thrive, it is the retailers who gain and the city centre attracts further investment.

 

This is your chance to make dull and unexciting meetings a thing of the past.

 

We have just attended the launch of Scotland’s Towns Week (which runs from 16th – 22nd November 2015) in the Scottish Parliament, which celebrated the diversity of Scotland’s small and rural towns. 

 

Many initiatives exist across the UK: in Scotland the Scottish Towns Partnership and a Toolkit for Town Centre regeneration exists. The BID groups are making a growing contribution.  We heard at the launch of the wonderful initiative from Scotrail operator Abellio’s about the new fund to support the engagement of town and communities and a similar initiative from First Bus.

 

It is a new landscape for Town Centres and a differing roll that retail will play; our retailers need to engage and participate. There are now models and support available for Town Centre Groups to adopt and engage with and there are also collaborations between towns.  Retail has been recognised more recently for the role it plays in our economy and there is more energy in the sector, however we as retailers need to take the initiative; if we don’t, we will be looking back in twenty years time blaming someone else for the lack of progress.

 

We witness great results in some towns where they are pulling together, now is the time to join in and make a difference.  For advice and support contact The Retailer Group  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

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