February 6, 2012 Plymouth Herald
PLYMOUTH’S city centre chief has warned High Street-shy shoppers: ‘Use it – or lose it’.
City people are increasingly shunning their local stores, as bargain-hunting Brits flocks online. The Herald reported last week on a string of shop closures – many national chains – that had torn the city centre in two.
Traders, retail experts and city centre managers have all predicted more shutters will go up before the end of 2012. And city centre manager Clint Jones has warned that a shift in retail habits could drive independent stores out of business.
He is forecasting the “inevitable demise of the High Street” unless the Government takes action to lure shoppers back.
“The big question is: Do people want a High Street?” Mr Jones said.
“If it’s not important to people anymore to have a space and a part of their community they can call their own, that will be the inevitable demise of the High Street.
“I think it would be a huge shame and a huge loss – not just to Plymouth but on a national scale.
“We’ll do everything we can in the meantime to stop that from happening.”
Online shopping now accounts for around 17 per cent of UK sales, compared to just 1.2 per cent ten years ago.
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