Retailers are currently closing stores at a faster rate than during the recession, but despite the underlying issues being well rehearsed, no coherent plan has emerged to tackle high-street decline. Some 50,000 stores are deemed surplus to requirements and MPs have recently launched a fresh inquiry, with the goal of drawing up a vision of what high streets and town centres could look like by 2030. There is no shortage of brain power being devoted to this emotive subject; retail guru Bill Grimsey is currently leading a taskforce that is revisiting his influential 2013 review. But while MPs and retail experts bang their heads together, the pace of decline only accelerates.
Why not just liberalise the planning laws and see what happens?