Portas sets out stall to save the High Street (by calling for a return of “Market Day”)
Proposals: Mary Portas, who as the Queen Of Shops turned around near-bankrupt small retailers, has told David Cameron that encouraging more market trade would help to turn High Streets into destinations
The TV star recruited by the Prime Minister to save Britain’s High Streets will call for a revival of ‘market day’ in an attempt to breathe life back into town centres.
Mary Portas, who as the Queen Of Shops turned around near-bankrupt small retailers, has told David Cameron that encouraging more market trade would help to turn High Streets into ‘destinations’.
Ms Portas, 48, was asked to come up with solutions to the problems of soaring shop vacancy rates, of ‘clone’ streets dominated by the same chains, and the collapse in independent retailers that lend character to town centres.
The report, which is set to be published on Tuesday, is expected to recommend lifting restrictions on traders wanting to sell fruit, vegetables, flowers and other produce.
‘More than any other type of retailing, I believe markets can serve as fundamental traffic drivers back to our High Streets,’ Ms Portas is expected to say. ‘Mixing food, fashion, home-made, second-hand, organic, craft, gardening and flowers, and recycled goods will bring all types of people of every age group into the town.’
At the moment, the burden is on traders to justify to councils why they should get a licence to operate. Under the new plans, councils would have to give reasons why they objected to stalls being set up.
Other recommendations will centre on the reduction of regulation for small businesses.
The report comes as analysts warn of a bleak winter for retailers. Last week shoe chain Barratts was forced to call in administrators.
Proposals: Portas” plans aim to breathe life back into high streets across the country