Mary Portas


Why the high street needs the internet

Last year Mary Portas released ‘The Portas Review’, which set out her recommendations for reviving the high streets of Britain’s towns and cities. 

As we said at the time, she seemed to have a blind spot as far as the role of the internet and digital technology is concerned. In fact, the report said that the internet ‘is one of the key threats to retail on our high streets’.

We see it differently: the internet is vital to the future of the high street. 

In our new report, How the Internet can save the High Street’(free for Bronze members upwards) we explore how digital technology can be used to drive footfall to the high street, and to enhance the in-store experience for consumers. 

Here are a few highlights from the report….

Mary Portas should look online to boost Britain’s high streets

TV presenter Mary Portas believes that Britain’s high streets have been subjected to decades of erosion, neglect and mismanagement, which has led them to the point of extinction, but she’s overlooking a very simple truth.

British consumers habits have changed. The UK has migrated online. To coax local shoppers out from behind their computer screens and back into high street stores British businesses need to reach customers online.

Online advertising should be the answer, but a lack of systems that work have constrained widespread online ad adoption amongst Britain’s smaller, local businesses.

Saatchi research reveals Gen Y hasn’t written off the high street yet

In contrary to recent headlines, a new study from Saatchi & Saatchi suggests that ‘Generation Y’ is in fact shopping on the high street, with 78% visiting local brick-and-mortar stores in the week before interviews were carried out.

The agency met with 1508 16–29 year olds, asking them about their high street and the role they want it to play in their lives. 

Mary Portas releases retail review, but neglects e-commerce

Today retail expert Mary Portas has released a comprehensive report that deals with the health of Britain’s high street, advising the government on steps that should be taken to ensure its survival in the face of changing consumer behaviour.

In a press conference held at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) this morning, Portas said that, “Despite speculation this is not about surpressing other forms of retail.”