BOXPARK CEO and founder: town centres are delicate eco-system

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Roger Wade, CEO and founder of BOXPARK, comments on recent events and the importance of the British high street

“The news that Arcadia has gone into administration is a devastating blow for the high street and wider retail industry. The closure of physical retail stores will have a huge impact on not only the health of the British high street but could also lead to the total demise of town centres too. Our town centres are a delicate ecosystem and with no physical retail, there is a huge knock-on effect on hospitality, leisure, offices and residential value as footfall is largely dependent on retail.  

“The pandemic, rising rents and business rates, plus a shift to e-commerce has put a huge amount of pressure on the high street and it is imperative that measures are put in place to help businesses adapt to those changes. We need a level playing field for physical retailers competing with online stores so I think business rates should be revaluated and both landlords and tenants should come to an agreement to share the pain in terms of rent by considering turnover rent. 

“High streets serve as the heart of local communities and it is a place that people depend on for their social lives, employment and livelihoods – we must do everything we can to save it.”