Friday, 26 June 2009

the new high street

As retail sales decrease from £250 billion per year, Internet sales increase year by year and are now at £50 billion, coupled with supermarkets increasing market share the high street has been running at 20% over capacity for the last few years, which means as rents are a function of demand they also are running at 20% too high.

As time moves on the influx of 18 years old who will start to be the consumers of the future, will bring a huge wave of new Internet sales, which means the high street will be running at 50% over capacity.

We can look forward to 50% of shops closing and rents and capital values decreasing by 50% - prime will hope fully still stay but this is the face of the new high street.

Central government need to find a new solution for the town centre - we have been lucky that coffee shops have been replacing a lot of retailers as food and drink is one thing that can not be consumed over the Internet, well for the time being anyway.

So what we can do about it:-

Firstly, to compete with retail parks and supermarkets car parking has to be an issue, if there are barriers to shoppers then they simply won't come, so free car parking is a must, public transport has got to be affordable as the first alternative. Park and ride , new transportation solutions.

The local councils have to attract shoppers into towns at weekends with farmers markets, street exhibitions, displays, celebrities etc, free car parking. A "big" Saturday every month, with discounts ,promotions etc and all retailers banding together. Also somebody with local council seek out new retailers , coffee houses sandwich shops, entertainment.

New retailers should not pay the standard rents, don't get fooled into signing an onerous lease, cos once it is signed, its legal. Don't sign an upward only rent review ever! RPI index linked perhaps ! Rate holidays for struggling retailers.

It is inevitable that shops will close as shopping habits change, therefore ,we need to change the shopping habits and redefine the high street. No body is every going to buy a TV or washing machine on the high street any more , it will be bought online or at a supermarket.

The supermarkets will survive so it is up to the consumer to shop at local markets for fruit and veg and cheese, all fresh food , and the local retailers need to go for bulk sales and cut margins.

Fashion will survive on the high street and especially low end fashion, such as primark , but cd shops and electrical shops are gone forever.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Justin King discusses rainforests and climate change for The Princes Rainforest Project

Green award for Sainsbury's electric vehicles

Sainsbury’s has picked up an innovation award from the Energy Saving Trust for its use of electric vehicles for home delivery.

The supermarket will have 20% of all urban home-shopping delivery vans electric by September 2008 and wants the whole fleet of around 100 vehicles electric by 2010.It uses zero-emission vans from Smith Electric Vehicles and has been trialling the electric vans since 2005.A spokeswoman for the Energy Saving Trust said: “Sainsburys Online are taking the lead in developing the market for these vehicles.“Providing demand for electric vehicles increases their penetration in the market place, pushes the technology forward and helps to make them more mainstream. This kind of commitment provides a welcome boost to the electric vehicle industry.“Further CO2 benefits come from Sainsbury's customers using the delivery service rather than driving to the store in their own vehicle.”

Sainsbury's Crewe

Next time you feel like generating a little energy, just roll into your local Sainsbury’s! The third largest British supermarket chain has just unveiled a new energy system that generates power from the vehicles entering the parking lot of its new store in Gloucester. Think that’s neat? It’s just the tip of the iceberg lettuce for this new lean, green market.

Sainsbury’s new kinetic plate system was developed by Highway Energy Systems and consists of two kinetic road plates that move when vehicles drive over them. This movement generates enough energy to drive a generator which produces around 30kW per hour. That, according to the store, is enough to power their checkout system. Of course, kinetic energy is not free - it comes from the vehicles passing over them. So technically, this is really a gasoline powered store. However, the amount of fuel needed is so tiny that the effect is equivalent to that of passing over a speed bump.
The kinetic plates aren’t the only things green about the new store. It also features rainwater tanks, solar hot water systems, more daylight and an efficient building management system (BMS). According to the store, more than 90% of the construction waste was reused or recycled. Furthermore, the chain is trying to reduce the amount of waste that it sends to landfill, choosing to send it to a biomass plant in Scotland.
Green megamarkets sound like a bit of an oxymoron, and frankly we prefer a good old fashioned farmer’s market, local neighborhood retailer or homegrown produce any day of the week. But we don’t see the need for or the convenience associated with supermarkets dying out any time soon, so making each one as green as possible is a good way to go.