I like the High Street, a lot, but no-one has failed to see the change in the High St (with the possible exception of the current government). It’s future is not as bleak as many would suggest, but it’s a not a future that resembles today’s version, the High St is going to go through a painful transition as it struggles to find it’s place in a hyper-connected society.
Usefully, there are some great visionaries out there. Bill Grimsey is one, and he’s authored a stunning review of the High Street, encompassing:
- The realisation that we have too much retail space, and that is flawed – we need variety
- Move to using the High St as a community hub to be more inclusive of arts, education, business space and entertainment
- Embrace pervasive connectivity to make the High St space more connected
- Reduce the cost of being “on the High St” to broaden it’s appeal to organisations outside of traditional shops
His full report is nearly 60-pages long [PDF]. But worth a read, how the High Street looks in the next 20 years is dependent on what we do now.
By Martin Dower