Sheffield retail expert welcomes report on the UK’s high streets

Robert Lane, Lane Walker
Robert Lane, Lane Walker
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A LEADING Sheffield property expert has welcomed the results of a Government-backed review of Britain’s high streets, carried out by leading retail marketing consultant Mary Portas.

Robert Lane, chairman of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce’s retail forum, said: “The retail sector is the largest private employer in the region, therefore we support any initiatives which support its growth.”

Mr Lane welcomed proposals for Town Teams, providing a joint public and private sector approach to managing and improving local high streets and the promotion of markets to widen and improving the retail offer.

“Providing free controlled parking schemes to help town centres compete against out of town developments, measures to minimise the number of vacant shop units and to make our shopping streets more user friendly, all seem to be a step in the right direction,” said Mr Lane.

However, the proposals lacked measures to promote good customer service.

“Developing strong retail skills is vital to the long-term success of the sector, which is why Sheffield is leading the way with the first National Retail Sector Skills Academy,” Mr Lane added.