Healthy High Streets!

We’ve been on a quest, trying to discover the most interesting repurposing strategies to help restore our highstreets. Not to turn back the clock but to redefine, reinvent and rejuvenate them for the benefit of local businesses and communities alike. Here are some more we like:

New Community Areas – This may not be a new idea but it’s still a good one. Offer free space for small businesses, charities and community groups to host professional meetings, events and training sessions. This would have a huge and positive impact on local economies at a time when they need it most. Asda have done this in Colne with impressive results. 

Health and Wellbeing – Embracing new trends in shopper behaviour makes sense. Health and Wellness is the perfect example. Customer spending in this area is increasing significantly every year. Online cannot service this need totally because many of the services require a face to face / in person experience. Converting retail outlets into multi-therapy service providers is logical and again the infrastructure is already in place, with parking and public transport firmly established. This approach has been widely used in shopping centres in Japan to attract new footfall.

These ideas, together with others, like Rainbow Rising’s re-purposing of former department stores, have certainly captured our imagination. Whether they will be widely adopted remains to be seen.

Ben Demash

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