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The Observer: "Could virtual high streets save local shops?"

Link to The Observer

"Most people want a thriving high street with butchers, bakers, greengrocers, bookshops, boutiques, cafes and restaurants. So figures from the Local Data Company, showing that nearly 15% of shops are vacant, make for depressing reading. They seem to reinforce the gloom of Deloitte's prediction earlier this year that four in 10 shops will be forced to close in the next five years.

No one wants to see their high street crumble. But with household budgets at breaking point, what's the incentive to go local? Supermarkets and online retail giants offer discount prices, 24/7 shopping and deliveries. According to a recent report, some products, such as toys, are as much as 60% cheaper online.

However, two schemes aim to breathe life back into our beleaguered high streets. Openhighstreet.com and Myhigh.St both allow customers to shop locally on their mobile, PC or tablet. Customers can either click and collect, or have purchases delivered to their door.

Link to web site

Evening Standard:
"Welcome to the London suburb that’s fighting back for small shops..."

"The suburbs are battling back against the rising tide of high street closures — with one south-west London neighbourhood at the forefront.

"A new report shows that while one in seven shops is currently empty across Britain, in London nine out of 10 are open for business.

"... Other booming high streets include Mill Hill and East Finchley, with 97 per cent of their shops open for business. East Finchley’s performance has improved by almost five per cent in the last year.

"Other strong performers include Kingsbury, Burnt Oak, South Woodford, Blackheath, Hayes, and Barkingside."

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