When there is a greater awareness of something, more is done about it. This is why we see billboards, television adverts, and people in the street talking about charitable causes, whether it be giving £3 a month to poverty stricken countries or donating to environmental causes. There is currently a massive focus on the high street and the economy, further so given the countrys fall back into recession last week.
There have been many television shows and news articles which all focus on one key area which is keeping high streets firmly entrenched in gloom. Commercial property for rent is pushed to the forefront of these pieces, as a key indicator of how the economy is doing in general. Why a raised awareness of the issues faced by the wider economy as well as specific industries could definitely act as a lever for recovery, there is also the stark danger that it could go the other way.
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Ever Decreasing Confidence
Commercial property for rent is also linked to the dreaded consumer confidence. A vote of confidence in sport is often seen as the last straw before a coach is fired. The UK high street, where there is currently so much commercial property for rent, would probably quite like a vote of confidence at the moment.
This is where it can be increasingly damaging, as seeing the gloom merely increases peoples reluctance to shop and visit these places. Those customers then shop online or in the supermarket as they do not wish to visit such a dull place. The commercial property for rent remains empty, the number of empty units increases and gradually our high streets will become ghost towns.
cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by antwerpenR
Although criticised by many for how they go about their work, figures such as Mary Portas and Gok Wan are going to be extremely important in terms of bringing life back to the high street. Particularly in Portas case, where she has recently presented a dossier of recommendations to the UK Government regarding redeveloping and bringing high streets back to life.
There is a fine balance to be struck, as without the consumer confidence the shopping precincts and high streets of the country will never be the same again. At the same time, without somewhere offering a great shopping experience, consumer confidence will never get better. Will the world then become dominated by shopping centre operators, such as Westfield, and preside over the ultimate death of high street shopping?