Helen Dickinson, head of UK Retail at KPMG commented today on the Government's response to the Mary Portas Review. She said:
“It was to be expected that the Government would support the Portas recommendations and given the enthusiasm around the existing pilot programme, that it would be extended. All this focus and activity may well provide short-term fixes to some of the current challenges facing UK High Streets. However, it fails to address the long-term social changes in shopping and leisure activity, which have got us to where we are today. Tackling these long-term structural changes is more difficult, but is crucial to securing the future of the High Street.
“The Government’s response does not feel like a fundamental shift in the removal of regulatory and red tape burdens. Removing these unnecessary regulations would have had a greater impact to help retailers set up and manage their business.
“And given the scale of the challenges facing the modern high street, the increased financial commitments will still hardly scratch the surface. However, the focus and profile of the scheme has certainly sparked the imagination of local retailers and communities which is of value in itself.”