The British are a nation of shopkeepers, Napoleon observed. But the traditional British small shopkeeper is an endangered species. Corner shops are disappearing at a rate of nearly 40 a week, according to a new all party parliamentary report. Now, a leading academic says urgent action is needed if one of Britain’s great institutions is to be saved.
Ian Clarke, a professor at Lancaster University Management School (LUMS) who has spent the last four years researching the plight of the UK’s independent shops is calling for immediate action. He believes that the new report by the All-Party Small Shops Group does not go far enough. “The rate of small store closure is not a new phenomena – it has been going on for decades”, he says. “What is new is the recognition that the rate of closures of small independent shops is directly linked to the growth of supermarkets”.
Professor Clarke, who is currently leading a major research project argues that to save our corner stores, the UK’s regulator authorities need to take drastic action in four areas:
Jenny Murray | alfa
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