Councillor and business owner Chris Whitbread has warned shop owners to move with the times to stand a chance of survival

Cllr Chris Whitbread believes there is still a market for retail in the high street.

Cllr Chris Whitbread believes there is still a market for retail in the high street.

First published in News
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East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter, covering Walthamstow, Leyton and Leytonstone. Call me on 07768 507 739

Struggling high street shops must move with the times or face a bleak future, according to the leader of the council.

Ahead of a debate on small retailers and their fight to survive, Cllr Chris Whitbread has spoken out about the future of high street shopping in Epping Forest.

He said: “The way we use our high streets is changing and businesses need to change with us.

“Out-of-town retail and online shopping have revolutionised the way we use our high streets. For some businesses, that means our online presence is now just as important as our shop fronts.”

Cllr Whitbread, who runs a letting agents in Epping, believes there is still a market for retail in the high street.

He said: “Many people believe bars, restaurants and coffee shops are becoming some of the new High Street Kings.

“It is then up to the rest of us to make the best offer we can to deliver the full modern high street experience.”

Cllr Whitbread will take the stage on Monday at Sadlers Wells theatre in Clerkenwell alongside Bill Grimsey, author of the controversial Grimsey Report, and government minister Brandon Lewis MP.

 

 
 

Comments (3)

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9:52am Sun 1 Dec 13

UKIP-local says...

Of course Hight Streets have to change with the times; when did they stop doing so. Business left to its own devices is like families and the public generally left alone by bureaucrats and vested interests. Wea re quite capable of deciding our own pace and nature of change. Or we may chose not to change some things.

It is very interesting how the council estates developed in London and many other cities are now regarded as unattractive and some have been bulldozed. the houses of the type ripped down to make way for the councillors' dreams of the 1950s and 1960s are now the must-have homes selling at high prices after refurbs.

The worry is that the "must change" Cllr Whitbread and his gallant crew have in mind is a big new shiny supermarket on council owned land in the centre of Epping. We do not want it. Change in the mouths of politicians, especially when planning is involved, usually involves tiptoe stealing from the public. A little Green Belt here, a little supermarket there.

The choice does not have to be between prosperity and brave new world chrome and plate glass or decline with a traditional high street. That is a false contrast which developers and plan era want you to make so they get their way.

Better to have policies for the conservation area to ensure attractive shop and restaurant development in balance. Better to encourage good design. Better to ensure pavements are safe, drains work and litter is cleared. But these are all boring and do nit involve invitations to Sadlers Wells.
Of course Hight Streets have to change with the times; when did they stop doing so. Business left to its own devices is like families and the public generally left alone by bureaucrats and vested interests. Wea re quite capable of deciding our own pace and nature of change. Or we may chose not to change some things. It is very interesting how the council estates developed in London and many other cities are now regarded as unattractive and some have been bulldozed. the houses of the type ripped down to make way for the councillors' dreams of the 1950s and 1960s are now the must-have homes selling at high prices after refurbs. The worry is that the "must change" Cllr Whitbread and his gallant crew have in mind is a big new shiny supermarket on council owned land in the centre of Epping. We do not want it. Change in the mouths of politicians, especially when planning is involved, usually involves tiptoe stealing from the public. A little Green Belt here, a little supermarket there. The choice does not have to be between prosperity and brave new world chrome and plate glass or decline with a traditional high street. That is a false contrast which developers and plan era want you to make so they get their way. Better to have policies for the conservation area to ensure attractive shop and restaurant development in balance. Better to encourage good design. Better to ensure pavements are safe, drains work and litter is cleared. But these are all boring and do nit involve invitations to Sadlers Wells. UKIP-local
  • Score: -11

11:07am Sun 1 Dec 13

Billy Yerache says...

Cllr Whitbread will take the stage on Monday at Sadlers Wells theatre in Clerkenwell alongside Bill Grimsey, author of the controversial Grimsey Report, and government minister Brandon Lewis MP.


Who are the playing?

The Chuckle Brothers?
Cllr Whitbread will take the stage on Monday at Sadlers Wells theatre in Clerkenwell alongside Bill Grimsey, author of the controversial Grimsey Report, and government minister Brandon Lewis MP. Who are the playing? The Chuckle Brothers? Billy Yerache
  • Score: -23

4:28pm Mon 2 Dec 13

pan says...

High roads have to move with the times yet it is us the consumer that really dictates the trend. It is such a shame that we are now pre disposed to using supermarkets for one stop shopping as High Streets end up all being very similar but that is the demand and so this is the result.

People do want to see their High Street remain the same with varied shops and thriving businesses but that cant just happen for nostalgia or character it has to be us the consumer that is prepared to go from shop to shop getting all your groceries etc in different places and sadly people just do not seem to want to and in many instances it is simple finances.

High Streets have to compete with retail parks and they are the dominate force so high streets end up mimicking retail parks or die off.

I think the council has much to answer for, rates, parking charges,badly designed road layouts and endless permission granted for food outlets, these all deter people from using their local shops when you can go to a retail park, park for free in huge car parks and go to large purpose designed shops and actually get what you need.

Can High Streets really be classed as High Streets any more in the traditional sense, should they not be called the "Restaurant Road", "Coffee Shop close" or "take away turning" now ?
High roads have to move with the times yet it is us the consumer that really dictates the trend. It is such a shame that we are now pre disposed to using supermarkets for one stop shopping as High Streets end up all being very similar but that is the demand and so this is the result. People do want to see their High Street remain the same with varied shops and thriving businesses but that cant just happen for nostalgia or character it has to be us the consumer that is prepared to go from shop to shop getting all your groceries etc in different places and sadly people just do not seem to want to and in many instances it is simple finances. High Streets have to compete with retail parks and they are the dominate force so high streets end up mimicking retail parks or die off. I think the council has much to answer for, rates, parking charges,badly designed road layouts and endless permission granted for food outlets, these all deter people from using their local shops when you can go to a retail park, park for free in huge car parks and go to large purpose designed shops and actually get what you need. Can High Streets really be classed as High Streets any more in the traditional sense, should they not be called the "Restaurant Road", "Coffee Shop close" or "take away turning" now ? pan
  • Score: 1

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