Tesco MD Chris Bush blogged about the state of the high street this week, calling for “a thorough analysis of the challenges facing town centres”. It’s enough to make you run to the nearest town hall and throw yourself off the roof. Another report? Seriously?
This week, Bill Grimsey took potshots at Mary Portas to score publicity for his own report, proposing a £500m levy on retailers already reeling from declining sales, high business rates and the incursion of internet retailers. However sound some of his recommendations, a 0.25% sales levy, representing, for example, a 7.4% tax on Sainsbury’s profits, is going to attract as much ridicule as even the maddest Portas proposal.
“Pickles is the only one who can take any real action on the high street”
James Halliwell, senior features writer
Besides, if the high street really wants to make a difference it needs to unite its energy on communities and local government SoS Eric Pickles. He still gives the ultimate thumbs-up to giant out-of-town supermarkets, like Tesco in Margate, in June. Portas makes TV shows but Pickles wields actual power and is, therefore, the only one who can take any real action. So why isn’t it him in the firing line? After all, action is what’s needed. Not more words.