Monthly Archives: July 2018

Reconsidering and Repurposing the High Street: The Grimsey Review 2

by Hazel Nash

With the future of the House of Fraser uncertain following the contentious Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), discussions about the future of the high street have resurfaced with greater intensity.

High Streets lined with charity shops, banks, estate agents ... and empty units
High streets lined with charity shops, banks, estate agents … and empty units (Photo: C. Carter)

The publication earlier this month of the Grimsey Review 2 coincides with a Commons Select Committee inquiry into the future of high streets and town centres and the establishment of a new expert advisory panel on the future of the high street. Furthermore, a petition has been submitted to the Scottish Courts challenging the House of Fraser’s CVA on the grounds of unfair prejudice against certain creditors amongst other things (see Endnote 1). What is clear is that the retail industry is changing.  Whether entering into a CVA or an administration process, the result for the high street and for commercial landlords tends to be the vacating of premises and possibly long-term empty retail units. This does little for the health of the high street, often putting greater pressure on those surviving businesses. Indeed, taking the British Home Stores (BHS) premises as example, research undertaken by Cushman & Wakefield found that just 29% of old BHS stores have been relet or resold, leaving 102 premises empty two years on (Bourke, 2018). Continue reading Reconsidering and Repurposing the High Street: The Grimsey Review 2