News and Insights

As I sit at home having had a Christmas of self-isolation (one of my children tested positive) I have had plenty of time to reflect on the year that is about to end. If anything, like a nightmare, it has appeared to drag on much longer than the reality of the actual clock ticking. Here […]

Data is either structured or unstructured. Structured data is neatly arranged in rows and columns, like a spreadsheet. Unstructured data is messy and disorganised. It shambles towards us as PDFs, Word documents, presentations, open-ended survey responses, webpages, blog posts, social media sites, audio

August is for many people a quieter work month or one where you take some well-deserved holiday, farmers excepted! As such I thought I would pen a few words on one of my passions in life which is people. Throughout my life I have enjoyed meeting and working with people from all backgrounds and that [&he

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

LDC publishes today its latest national vacancy rates from May 2014. The simple answer is that the last six months have seen a progressive improvement in the shop vacancy rate for Great Britain. This is significant, as we have not seen such a prolonged period of consistent reduction in the number of emp

On BBC Radio 4 Today programme there was a piece around tanning salons being a health risk with many not being maintained to the required standards. Last week there were various articles which focussed this problem on Blackpool – here is the link to the BBC piece. For many high street visitors tan

This is the first of many guest blogs (I hope!) that will address specific issues that relate to data, technology and the retail and leisure sectors & places. This first one is written by my digital design colleague Alex Oswald. Who will be first to adopt? Nike or Church’s Shoes? Thank you Ale

There has been lots of media interest around Mary Portas’ visit to Rotherham recently and it appears that great things have been happening there with the town team. In light of a blog I read this morning saying that LDC misrepresents the vacancy rate, I felt it appropriate to reply with what the field

The sentence above is one that has been common in the last two years and most recently it was used by Philip Clarke (CEO Tesco) at Retail Week Live to describe the journey Tesco is on. Of any sector or CEO Philip Clarke is in the thick of change and faces the challenges on the […]

Yesterday I attended the Acuitus/IPD auctions update for 2013. It was a very interesting morning that showed the renewed appetite of investors to enter the market but the issue of a very hot market and a lack of stock. Anuj Patel of IPD kicked off with lots of data and graphs. The main stats were [&hell

This week has seen another report on our high streets, this one from Ken Shuttleworth (The Gherkin architect) and others along with the BIS Select Committee stating that business rates are ‘not fit for purpose and need a complete overhaul’. This follows on from other reports of which the Grimsey Rev

I had the pleasure last week to be asked to speak to the Masters course at the Dublin Institute of Technology, which is home to Ireland’s main business school. I spoke about Britain’s retail economy and places looking at the structural changes taking place and the drivers behind these changes. Dubli

Yesterday I had the pleasure of presenting to the London Stansted Cambridge Consortium event on Future Towns held at Sadler’s Wells in London. I was but one of a number of keynote presenters which were interspersed with case studies for the consortium’s geographical area of interest. The audience nu

Today has been an interesting news day with two, much commented upon, fast growing occupiers of our high streets stating the value they add economically through employment and footfall to the high streets they fill. The two business types I am referring to are charity shops (Demos report) and betting sh

Yesterday I attended a Cushman & Wakefield event that covered the cinema market. It was about ten years ago that everyone was saying that cinemas would be extinct, as everyone moved to on-demand television and films with the rise of film clubs such as LoveFilm and Netflix. The reality is that, whils

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