Morning, Thursday, 27th February 2020
This seminar will bring stakeholders together to discuss the future of UK retail and the high street.
As a new parliament begins its work, we expect discussion on options for reform in the areas such as business rates, the apprenticeship levy, and legislation to protect shop workers - as called for in the recent British Retail Consortium report, A Vision for the UK Retail Industry - and the potential practicalities and impact on the sector.
Overall, areas for discussion include:
- Options for policy on costs and future funding, and for stakeholder collaboration;
- The relationships between landlords and retailers, and trends in rent negotiation;
- Innovative approaches to high street regeneration; and
- The high street/online playing field.
- Kelly Tolhurst, Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility;
- Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive, British Retail Consortium; and
- Steve Murrells, Chief Executive Officer, The Co-operative Group.
Further speakers include: Emily Berwyn, Meanwhile Foundation; Elizabeth Faulkner, Altrincham Unlimited; Dr Cathy Hart, Loughborough University; Mark Pilkington, formerly of Gossard; Simon Quin, High Street Task Force; Mark Robinson, Revo and Michael Weedon, Federation of Small Businesses.
- Key challenges for retailers: responding to rising costs, technology and changing shopping habits;
- Collaboration needed between councils, businesses and communities to develop places and positioning high streets as community hubs;
- Attracting business to the high street - the open door pilot, investment in historic buildings, and key issues for landlords;
- Where next for retail: improving productivity, competitiveness and the impact of Brexit;
- High street and online retail at a time of rising costs and political uncertainty - options for digital services taxation and business rates relief; and
- Future policy for supporting local shops and high streets.