This week I went to another business event, where five successful businesses shared their stories. It was meant to be about different business models, but it ended up being a little more vague than that. But it got me thinking, no one on the panel mentioned any bricks and mortar businesses, and I felt a little left out.
Yes, flexible working options can be great. Allowing staff to be freelance and contracted out is great for some people. But I felt like they wrote off the high street as dead, and therefore we should all just move on. Which was sad.
Our retail spaces are still important. Not just for the community aspect of having a place to go to, to pop and get a quick gift or a late night snack. But also because retail spaces tend to offer more employment for others. Shops, cafes, services etc all usually employ people. They offer regular, reliable and standard work for people who need jobs. Regular jobs.
Not all retail spaces are failing, the high street just needs to change, my local highstreet is always busy, lots of coffee shops, hairdressers, nail bars etc.
I love the internet, but I still use a high street. I still want access to shops, and I still spend money in them. But many of them got lazy, they were old fashioned, dirty, and often came with poor customer service. I can't wait to see what they're replaced with!
Do you think the government and councils offer enough support for retail spaces? Do you have any ideas of what they could offer that wouldn't cost a lot of money? For example, could the legal obligations change etc?