In the wake of recent news about distressed retailers (30,000 according to Begbies Traynor), CVAs, administrations and closures (Warren Evans, Thomas Cook, Carluccio’s, Jamie Oliver, Byron, Toys R Us, M&S, Prezzo, Maplin, New Look and East to name but a few this year) along with the 2017 Business Rates Revaluation and Brexit, Veteran retailer Bill Grimsey former CEO of Wickes, Iceland, Booker and Focus DIY has put together a team of experienced professionals, from various backgrounds, to revisit the first Grimsey Review “An Alternative Future for the High Street” that was published in Westminster in 2013 (available at www.vanishinghighstreet.com).
The aim of Grimsey Review 2 is to revisit the first review to establish;
- what impact it had?
- which recommendations worked and which did not?
- what has changed since?
- what should be done now in order to better prepare our High Streets and Town Centres for the 21st Century?
Bill Grimsey’s view is:
“It is time to get this subject back on everyone’s agenda otherwise we will continue to sleep walk into the remainder of the 21st Century leaving a legacy of ill thought out Town Centres and High Streets to the next generation.
Evidence based research is critical to how we manage our places and communities at both a local and national level. Change is rapid and change is constant. This all-encompassing second Review, written by independent experts, will act as an independent source of evidence and advice as to how the change should be managed.”
“Evidence based research is critical to how we manage our places and communities at both a local and national level”
The team consists of six of the nine original authors and Professor of Services (Retail) Kim Cassidy from Edge Hill University has joined the team. The authors’ bios are below and all individuals and companies are contributing their time and data on a pro bono basis.
Five years ago the High Street was a hot topic. Shop vacancies were at an all-time high and the Government asked Mary Portas to conduct a review of the High Street. Frustrated by lack of a serious understanding of the major industry structural changes impending at the time Bill Grimsey and his co-authors offered an alternative review to Government which sought broaden the subject beyond shops identifying the need to embrace technology and reinvent the High Street as a community hub with a combination of goods and services.
At a time when Brexit has captured the limelight it is timely to revisit the first review
The second review will again be primarily aimed at Central and Local Governments but will be relevant to Property Developers, Regeneration Professionals, trade associations, retailers, landlords, investors, think tanks/pressure groups and anyone concerned about “place” development and communities.
“Grimsey Review 2 will seek to identify case studies of good practice implemented as a result of the first review and other reviews at the time”
Grimsey Review 2 will seek to identify case studies of good practice implemented as a result of the first review and other reviews at the time. It will also look at the costs, financing and operating models of towns. It is anticipated that many examples will serve to demonstrate that where there is a political will and good local leadership regeneration suitable for the environment of an ageing demographic and huge impact on society from new technologies is possible. The authors will also proactively contact key stakeholders of towns and cities to gather evidence and opinion as well as understand what town/community plans exist.
The report will be published on 4th July 2018.
Interested parties can join a LinkedIn Group called Grimsey Review 2 to submit feedback and evidence as well as updates. https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8655019
Who are the Authors?
Matt has worked in business, politics, academia and journalism. He is a passionate campaigner for community led regeneration. He specialises in shaping strategic communication plans and has previously worked for a former Cabinet Minister and also at the Centre for Public Policy and Management at Manchester University.
Kim is Professor of Services (Retail) Marketing at Edge Hill University. She is also Academic Director of the National Retail Research Knowledge Exchange Centre (NRRKEC) at Nottingham Business School. Kim is passionate about all activities which maximise the impact of academic research on retailing and has worked closely with the Economic and Social Research Council on this agenda. Her personal research focuses on customer engagement in retail.
Bill is a retired retailer with 45 years active experience. During his career he held senior Director positions at Budgens and Tesco before becoming the Managing Director of Park’n’Shop Ltd, Hong Kong’s leading Supermarket Chain. He was also the CEO of Wickes plc, the Big Food Group (Iceland and Booker) and Focus DIY Ltd. He was author of Sold Out “Who really killed the High Street” (2012). He hold s number of non-executive Director posts and led the publication of the first Grimsey Review “An alternative future for the High Street” in 2013. In 2015 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration by the University of South West England for his contribution to retailing.
Matthew has worked in retail and property data for over 20 years of which he spent nine years establishing The Local Data Company as the ‘go to’ source for what is happening in Britain’s retail places. He has worked extensively with retailers, landlords, investors, local authorities and BIDs for many years. In 2018 he co-founded DataIntel, a company that advises on data assets implementation, optimisation and monetisation. He is a Visiting Professor at University College London.
Eva pioneered ecommerce in UK, as the first Director for Ecommerce for Arcadia Group and has accumulated 20 years of experience in e-retail technologies. She developed the first fashion web shop for Topshop and created omnichannel formats for the UK and more recently, European fashion chains. In her role as Ecom/Shopify Plus Director at The Retail Practice she supports digital growth of young online fashion brands. Eva also invests in digital fashion start-ups and provides advice on Crowdcube fundraising. She contributes as ecommerce adviser for a number of UK charities and serves as Digital Industry Partner for Middlesex University (London)
Jackie has 30 years’ experience in property development and urban regeneration, specialising in public-private sector partnerships. She is founder and Chief Executive of UK Regeneration (UKR), developing new models of housing delivery, currently seeking to regenerate a market town and bring forward 1,500 homes on a large scale site in Bedfordshire. From 2014 to 2016 she was Adviser to Greg Clark, Minister for Cities and then Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.
Chris worked in local government for over 30 years during which time he had senior roles in regeneration, planning and social and economic policy. He was formerly Director of the Regional Centre for Neighbourhood Renewal and regeneration consultant to several local authorities. Most recently he has worked as Development Director for Lee Valley Estates with the responsibility for the delivery of Hale Village a large mixed use development in North London.