What this town centre has achieved following the very first pop up shop, Bedpop resonates with projects I delivered. With storytelling being an integral part of a town or brand's strategy - Bedford does this incredibly well with the support of the local businesses, stakeholders including the local authority and the quality publications including The Bedford Clanger, Bedford Independent.
With a constant stream of retail company voluntary arrangements (CVA's) we have been witnessing recently, changes in leadership goes with the territory which we're seeing as a wider trend too. There is clearly an uncertainty from retailers in terms of how to drive forward a clear brand strategy.
High streets are under going dramatic changes and will continue to evolve in the next decade. Shopping as we know it is changing too and becoming 'experience' driven. We have witnessed this in the last decade with the rise of pop up shops, and more places where you visit to try out new activities that are not always purchase driven - building brand loyalty.
News that high streets are dying with shops lying empty and imminent collapse of major retailers would suggest that local authorities are unaware of what is happening in their towns. The reality is that many councils up and down country are already creatively leading on the revitalisation of their town centres, working closely with stakeholders.