A week on the high street - 5th July 2022
Date published: Date modified: 2022-07-05

retail

The Government has been called upon to support a £350m high street buyout fund which aims to revive 200 neglected sites across Britain. The Platform Places initiative is looking for £100m in grants to add onto £250m of commercial and social investment to redevelop places such as West Yorkshire’s Dewsbury Arcade. Other proposals include 50% business rates relief for community-led projects. Platform Places facilitator Rebecca Trevalyan said: “Our high streets are not in decline. We just can’t easily get into the buildings and spaces to do the things we need to do to make them thrive.”

Pret a Manger has recorded significant sales boosts supported by regional stores. Sales increased 230% year-on-year to £357.8m in the first half, which Pret owes to its now more diverse store portfolio. Two-thirds of Pret’s estate is now located outside of London, with further openings this year planned for Harrogate, York and Leeds. Pret is now ahead of its targets to double its business in the next five years.

LEISURE

The latest Altus Group research reveals that the number of pubs in England and Wales has reached a record low. During the first half of 2022, the overall number of English and Welsh pubs liable for business rates (including vacant and to let), fell to 39,973, a decline of 200 from the end of 2021. Pubs have either been demolished or converted for other uses such as office and residential. Robert Hayton, Altus Group UK president, said: “Whilst pubs proved remarkably resilient during the pandemic, they’re now facing new headwinds grappling with the cost of doing business crisis through soaring energy costs, inflationary pressures and tax rises.”

Slim Chickens opened four new restaurants yesterday to mark American Independence Day. The new sites in Leicester, Liverpool, Milton Keynes and London’s Bishopsgate bring the fried chicken brand’s UK portfolio up to 26 sites. The American brand was founded in 2003 and currently operates over 100 restaurants in the United States. It launched in the UK in 2018.


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