The development and maintenance of a vibrant town community capable of sustaining a range of key service provision has to be the desired objective of many of our key services centres.
The reality in many trading environments is that the overall independent retail provision has become extremely tired with limited inward investment, poor merchandising, a disillusioned operator base, falling footfall, rising operating expenses and failing profitability.
The result is reflected in neglected and uninspiring shop fronts, poor window displays, inappropriate product range, poor merchandising, ineffective layout and levels of customer service that often leave much to be desired. The overall impact within the shopping environment can be one that detracts from the retail vitality of the area, exacerbating customer diversion to more appealing retail centres and out of town shopping centres.
Many operators apportion blame towards the increasing extension of supermarket activities, growing utilisation of the Internet and e-commerce, lack of independent buying power and a customer base who no longer exhibit loyalty to their local businesses.
These assumptions are not totally wrong but, whilst these changes continue to impact on the market place, many independent retail businesses have been unable to identify how they can realign their business opportunities to maximise the remaining, and even more importantly, develop new retail opportunities within their individual business.
Shop Doctor Support programmes have recently been commissioned for delivery in:
Argyll & Bute: Rothesay (within the Town Heritage Initiative)
East Lothian: Haddington, Dunbar, North Berwick
Dumfries & Galloway: Lockerbie, Gretna
and have previously been delivered in:
Dumfries & Galloway: Dumfries, Annan, Stranraer
Cheshire East Council: Nantwich, Middlewich, Sandbach ,Crewe, Macclesfield, Poynton and Congleton.
Carlisle City Council: Brampton, Dalston, Longtown and Carlisle.
South Lakeland District Council: Ulverston and Kendal.
Eden District Council: Penrith, Alston, Appleby, Kirkby Stephen.
Blaenau Gwent Borough Council: Abertillery, Blaina, Bynmawr, Ebbw Vale, Tredegar (through Main Marketing & PR)
Flintshire County Council: Buckley, Connah’s Quay, Flint, Mold, Queensferry, Shotton (through Main Marketing & PR)