Putting the buzz back into our high streets

By Stephen Cox | 02 August 2021

It has been more than a decade since the ‘decline of the high street’ entered the public consciousness. We all know what this decline looks like: To Let signs, closing-down sales, ageing façades, and a proliferation of charity shops. We can make generalisations about the causes of decline, too: public sector investment pull-back, the consolidation of private sector investment to cities, and the success of online retail.

The COVID-19 pandemic hastened many of these trends. Bricks and mortar retail, just about hanging on pre-pandemic, has finally thrown in the towel; Thornton’s, Top Shop and Debenhams just some of the high-profile names impacted.

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