Mary Portas is a retail and marketing consultant who was asked my the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister to create an independant report on the state of our High Streets. Mary recently published a 28 point report recommending various initiatives to improve High Street retail and encourage shoppers to return to their local shops. You can download the pdf report here (1.9mb).
Mary's goal is pretty clear:
"My goal is to breathe economic and community life back into our High Streets and town centres. I want to see all our High Streets bustling with people, services, and jobs. They should be vibrant places that people choose to visit. They should be destinations. Anything less is a wasted opportunity."
Here are the summaries of her 28 points of recommendation if you don't want to read the full report.
I agree that the sense of community and convienence of High Street shopping is a good thing but I for one am in favour of better online shopping. There is a need for local shops and ammenities but without punishing the owners of the large, out of town shopping centers I cannot see how the High Street can be turned around. With the arrival of m-commerce (mobile shopping) I believe the High Street will suffer far more than anyone has anticipated so far.