Keep city centres vibrant – with retailers | RetailDetail

Keep city centres vibrant – with retailers

Keep city centres vibrant – with retailers

(content provided by EuroCommerce) Retail plays a crucial role in making city centres vibrant and attractive places for people to come and shop and enjoy themselves. This requires however that cities adapt to changing consumers' needs.

Everyone must cooperate

The digital revolution and changes in consumer demography and behaviour is bringing about a major transformation in the retail sector. This is in turn, affecting city centres, with high vacancy rates in many cities and villages, as people switch purchases they used to buy in physical stores, and other structural changes impact where people shop. This needs retailers, but also local authorities to find creative and innovative ways to keep life, businesses, and enjoyment in city centres.

 

Retailers, experts, senior Commission officials and representatives of cities as well as keynote speaker Anneleen van Bossuyt MEP came together last week in Brussels to share their ideas and experience. Revitalisation of city centres can go badly wrong if all relevant stakeholders do not cooperate, and do not focus on consumers’ expectations, Professor Jesse Weltevreden of Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, told at the EuroCommerce event. Cities and stakeholders invest a lot in social media, while consumers actually are looking for a simple website with clear information about what is available in the city centre. What consumers look for is cheap and plentiful parking, a good range of retail offerings and fewer empty shops, coupled with a variety of entertainment and other events. Joost van Keulen, Acting Mayor of Groningen, explained how his city did this, creating flexibility for entrepreneurs to experiment, offering seed funding, organising events and investing in public spaces.

 

Christian Verschueren, EuroCommerce Director-General, added: “Cities grew up throughout history as places where people traded, and city centres and retail are inseparably connected. Cities need to create the right conditions for retailers to thrive. At a time when our sector faces real challenges, we need mayors and local authorities to make it easier to open or expand shops, and reduce burdens which can make it difficult to keep them open. City centres must be accessible for deliveries and for consumers, and legislators need to take care to providing equal conditions for selling offline and online.”

Questions or comments? Please feel free to contact the editors


Gerelateerde items

Régis Degelcke new EuroCommerce president

22/06/2018

Régis Degelcke is the new president of EuroCommerce. The chairman of Auchan will start his three-year mandate in July.

Tom&Co eyes 100 French stores

21/06/2018

Belgian pet shop chain Tom&Co continues its expansion in France with the opening of its 25th French store in Nantes. With a new concept, the chain hopes to be able to quickly expand to 100 stores in France.

France wants e-commerce tax

21/06/2018

If the French government get their way, the Hexagon will soon introduce a tax on e-commerce. Products would become 1 to 2 % more expensive, depending on the distance of the last delivery.

Toy store chain La Grande Récré pulls plug on Belgium

20/06/2018

French toy store chain La Grande Récré has decided to focus on the French market and to close its Belgian branch, due to continuing financial difficulties. 16 stores will close, causing a job loss of 95.

Join us for Europe’s largest retail and e-retail event!

12/06/2018

(advertorial) The fourth edition of Paris Retail Week will take place September 10 – 12, 2018 in Pavilion 1 at Paris Expo Porte de Versailles. For three days, Paris will be the capital of experiential and connected commerce, bringing together 800 participating companies and 40,000 retail and e-commerce professionals.

Karstadt aims to reinvent department stores in Berlin

12/06/2018

German department store chain Karstadt is to open two stores in Berlin, that aim to reinvent themselves as a "networked marketplace". It will be the first new Karstadt department stores in the German capital for thirty years.