Conor Skehan: ‘No, our high streets are not dying… but they are changing in ways we will come to enjoy’

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Conor Skehan: ‘No, our high streets are not dying… but they are changing in ways we will come to enjoy’

The way we shop is changing dramatically – and so will the main streets that serve us, writes Conor Skehan


‘Everybody feels nostalgia for a failed shop. It’s very like a death’
‘Everybody feels nostalgia for a failed shop. It’s very like a death’

‘The king is dead. Long live the king” is an ancient phrase – originally French – declaring both the death of a regent and the appointment of a successor. The proclamation was intended to provide reassurance about continuity in a time of great uncertainty.

Recent closures or plans for contraction of very large UK high street retailers, like House of Fraser, Maplin, Mothercare, Homebase – even Marks & Spencer – are prompting concerns about the very future of town centres. The UK included measures in its Budget last week to protect retailers by reducing rates.

When, and not if this begins to happen here, you can expect to hear the following debates begin:

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