2020 will see big changes in our shopping habits, if government plans are successful.
Commercial Property Services (CPA) keenly anticipates the spring Budget, with its widely-trailed reduction in business rates for small firms, together with the creation of a High Street Taskforce to direct a new Future High Street Fund.
CPA is less confident that the proposed "digital sales tax" will directly benefit the high street, unless monies raised are directed 100% towards bricks and mortar outlets, rather than being subsumed, like our Road Tax, into the general coffers of the Treasury.
CPA welcomes any attempt to re-design our high streets so that they encourage the public to linger, rather than rushing out of town. This creative use of public space is a welcome antidote to the drab uniformity of so many town centres.
The increasing number of festivals and speciality markets indicates how readily the public set aside their computers to enjoy the buzz of good-humoured company , and shopping can, CPA hopes, once again become a pleasure , rather than a chore.
If the plans to regenerate our high streets can recapture at least some of their former excitement- and they have a head's start over the computer mouse, any day- then we must wish government initiatives every success.