The Changing High Street

A Society That Wants Better

One of the most regular conversations at the moment is about how the casual dining and retail food operations are under pressure with a decline in sales. However every High Street is still dominated with food offerings. The high streets have changed. Traditional retailers have moved online and food offers have taken their place as rents have still continued to increase. The pressure on the operators has become greater and it is highly competitive.

There are some exceptional food offers and the high street scene is certainly vibrant and exciting but there is a question as whether the market is over supplied?

There is also a question of whether rents need to be better balanced?

The high street needs to change and should be a centre for great arts, crafts and artisan products that engage customers and create vibrant centres. It takes genuine bravery for many artists to set up a gallery but they do add real value to any centre.

One example is the Penn Gallery in Alnwick, Northumberland –  a very talented artist who has set up his own gallery and already possesses a strong reputation. It would be superb to see such a gallery and artist thrive and prosper with his work being shown in local hotels too.

In the modern world, every operation works almost in a silo but maybe it would be good to see how communities can work as one to create greater wealth of all its own doing and helps each other to compete and build.

The high street should be full of artisan foods, crafts, art – the local  produce and talent that makes every region have its own point of difference.

Hotels too can bring all of this together by buying the great local produce and showcase local artists and crafts to their guests  – to be a theatre for the local world.

Hospitality has a great opportunity and role to play in leadership within communities.

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