MERKUR Set Out Vision for the High Street

Sascha Blodau, General Manager of MERKUR UK has confirmed the company’s faith in the high street, despite research which projects that town and city centres will lose £3 billion this year due to the growing trend of Working From Home. The academic study which was undertaken by the University of Sheffield and presented to the Royal Economic Society, has calculated the economic impact of workers spending one day a week away from their offices.

Sascha Blodau stated: “The research into the future of Britain’s high streets actually reinforces the importance of inward investment and the need to provide a diverse range of offers to attract people. Clearly the days of just going to shop are over – the proposition needs to change.”

He added: “MERKUR UK continues to invest in local communities and a large proportion of our new venues were previously not trading. A key discussion point, when we meet with our constituency MPs at MERKUR venues is the high street – specifically the jobs that we generate, the supply chains that we support and the contributions we make to local economies. I believe the future will be a blend of retail which will be more niche, comprising hospitality and leisure with an offer that’s attractive to all demographics and age groups. 

“We have every confidence in the long-term viability of UK town centres but we would also like to see a root and branch overhaul of business rates and investment in local transport, specifically buses to enable people to access their local high street. Improved infrastructure creates a larger catchment area which in turn means more people and that’s what it’s all about.”