Businesses should take 'Brexit advice' amid pressure hitting high streets

PUBLISHED: 07:00 24 September 2019 | UPDATED: 10:46 04 October 2019

Ian MacQueen – Chairman, Exmouth Chamber of Trade & Commerce

Ian MacQueen - Chairman, Exmouth Chamber of Trade & Commerce

Northcliffe Media Ltd.

Exmouth Chamber of Commerce chairman Ian MacQueen shares his thoughts on the pressures being felt by the high streets nationwide.

Who killed the high street?

The demise of big name retailers makes headlines on an almost daily basis. Landlords can no longer assume a "big name" tenant means long-term rental security as these tenants often seek the negotiated protection of a Creditors Voluntary Arrangement or CVA. However, there are other costs that can't be negotiated such as business rates, since not paying is a criminal offence.

Pressures on the high street, where legacy retailers locked into high rents, long leases and large rate bills are facing the low-cost business model of online retailers such as Amazon, are in a difficult position to combat this retail phenomena.

As if this is not enough, Brexit has begun to add more pressure on high street retailers where over the last two months there has been an unprecedented decline in sales due to uncertainty by consumers. Forecast after forecast predicts reductions in growth and spending over the next two years. In one survey on house prices released last week, these are predicted to fall marginally over the next two years.

In order to achieve a revitalised high street with retailers having the ability to experiment and take risks with their product/price offer, they need support from government and local authorities. In order to compete with online category killers our high streets need government and local authority backing in the shape of a root and branch look at parking, rates and planning.

Chamber Business Breakfast, October 8, Royal Beacon Hotel, Exmouth. 7-9am.

Why not come along to another excellent Chamber Breakfast where the speaker will be Dave Whelan of EDDC talking about the latest Brexit Advice/Information for business. Not to be missed. A snip at £10 with a 'full English' thrown in!

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