retra and CIH respond to Mary Portas’ report

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The report overlooks the root of the high street’s problems.

In a joint statement, retra and CIH criticized the Mary Portas report for overlooking the key problems high street retailers are facing, and advised their members not to participate in the Channel 4 programme seeking to feature ‘independent shops that are struggling to survive’.

Bryan Lovewell, retra’s chief executive, commented: “In her much anticipated report into the future of UK high streets, the headline recommendation from Ms Portas and her team was about relaxing licensing rules for market stalls to make it easier for people to set up stands. What about the long established bricks and mortar retailers that feature on high streets across the country – these have been forgotten by Ms Portas, and now comes a TV show that will heighten her profile, after a dumbed down report paid for by taxpayers.”

Mr Lovewell revealed that retra attempted to have a meeting with Ms Portas to discuss the electrical retailing industry, but her team declined such a meeting.”

Stuart Cook, CIH’s chief executive, said: “The government, and the self-styled Mary ‘Queen of Shops’ Portas, have let down high street electrical retailers with this much-anticipated report. High streets up and down the country are suffering; businesses that have traded for generations have closed their doors and now is the time for the coalition government to act.”

In a joint statement, retra and CIH have advised their members against participating in the Channel 4 programme encouraging ‘struggling to survive or expand’ retailers to take part in the documentary and to receive advice from a retail expert.

“The content of these programmes are unknown, but one thing is certain, the profile of Ms Portas will only escalate,” the two organisations said.

“Ms Portas has not looked at the root of the problems that independent electrical retailers are facing.”

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