Letter to councillors: Implications of increasing rate of chain store closures

Email sent to all Cheshire East councillors 21/10/2012.

You can copy and paste this and write to your own councillor.


Dear Councillor

The latest figures from the Local Data Company show that chain store closures averaged 30 a day in July and August. This is up from an average of 20 a day in the first six months of the year.


The article includes the following quote from Bill Grimsey, former chief executive of Wickes, Iceland and Focus, who has just published Sold Out, a book on the future of the high street:

“This latest analysis further confirms that retailers in general are in the middle of a perfect storm: too much space accumulated during the boom years, coupled with changing consumer trends to shop more online, whilst real disposable incomes are falling, has created conditions that will perpetuate the demise of the high street.

“The retail sectors bucking the trend reflect the economic environment. It’s no surprise that discounters are growing. The growth of the convenience store and online sectors for food retailers will hit profits as these channels are less efficient than their capital-intensive out-of-town superstores.”

He said the government should stop its wasteful “PR stunts” to regenerate high streets, and get to the heart of the issue: “They need to accept that these areas are dying as retail destinations, and communities need an approach that finds alternative uses for these buildings. Much-needed affordable housing would be a good place to start.”

In the light of this continuing decline, how can the proposed Macclesfield retail-based Wilson Bowden development be in the best interests of the town?

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