The drop in retail sales (0.2%) , in September, 2021, underlines the need for strong stimulus measures from the Chancellor.
It is not helpful for political optimists to promote the belief that the retail market's problems will be self-rectifying, as price rises ,from foods to petrol, eat away at our spending power. Christmas spending may flatter the statistics, but there is no denying the continuing erosion of the high street, by online operators.
Rishi Sunak could, at a stroke, help to level the playing-field, by taxing all internet businesses, and funding with the proceeds a serious regeneration of our careworn and often shabby shopping centres.
CPA believes that online secretly relies on a healthy bricks and mortar scene, as a showcase for its products, from furnishings to lighting , wallpaper and household purchases too numerous to mention. In particular, innovation, that vital key to retail growth, depends almost entirely on effective, face to face presentation by sales staff versed in product knowledge. Online retailers' clever links to a "real" person just a click away, though ingenious, somehow don't cut it.
A healthy retail market depends on the stardust that only well-lit, cosy and warm stores can sprinkle. (All alternatives are fundamentally dull and utilitarian).
So here's hoping for proper funding for our high streets!