It’s hard to take in that GAP, Jigsaw, Mothercare, Carphone Warehouse, Oasis, Evans, Thorntons, TopMan and Toys ‘R’ Us have all gone from our high streets forever! Yet arguably the biggest single blow of them all, has to be the closure of all 124 Debenhams department stores, leaving so many of our towns and cities looking totally abandoned.

Many of our banks have seized upon this as an opportunity to accelerate their branch closures, despite making record profits. Barclays has already closed 84 branches this year alone, while Lloyds closed 267 in just three months. Retail job losses in the first six months of 2021 exceeded 190,000 and now one store closes every hour in the UK.

OK, so we’ve all had enough statistical doom and gloom to last a lifetime over the past 18 months. How do we move forward? What’s Restore Our High Streets all about and why should you even both to read on? The short answer is simply this. Experience has shown that when big retail business confidence is undermined like this, it has a disproportionately negative impact upon surrounding small businesses.

This can lead to a deteriorating domino effect of independent retail and other small business closures because of the dramatic drop in footfall and passing trade.

Domino Effect

Economists observe that relying on market forces alone to balance things out takes too long, meanwhile the pendulum swings to extremes. And it’s not just the retail face of towns and cities that suffer. As one influential landlord pointed out. When large retail spaces remain vacant for too long, the often-forgotten residential spaces above them becomes unviable and often follows suit. The net result is an exodus, laying the foundation for a whole host of community, commercial and social problems – not to mention substantial increases in local council and national taxes.

Please sign our petition for No. 10 here
Please ask your friends, family and work colleagues to do the same. Share this email and the link to our website – with all of them. This is a big deal, and it affects us all, but our elected officials have been distracted with all the firefighting going on and we need to remind them. That’s it. Thanks for your support.