Local authorities and voices from across the industry gathered at The Postal Museum last night for Gleeds challenge debate, Changing Places. Milligan’s Creative Navigator, Paul Hanegraaf joined the panel for a discussion on what the high street needs to do in order to keep up with today’s evolving retail.
Paul shared six key thoughts, making a call to local authorities and drawing attention to the control they hold over policy, building control, planning and investment.
- Consumer: The tech enabled consumer is all powerful and fluid in their demands. They want the full line of choice, more time to browse and enjoy the impulse of traditional shopping.
- Change: Retailers are facing massive challenges to transform their platforms. They must add immersive experience, engagement, learning and they must transform their settings and merchandise more swiftly.
- Time: The pace of consumer and retailer change is challenging for real estate. Analogue disrupted digital and now digital disrupts digital… movements are counteracted by anti-movements. Change is constant.
- People: It is people that make place, destination and experience so it is a behavioural and sociological challenge… and to sustain it, there must be an operating entity. Place making is not trees and benches and streetlights… it’s people, what they do and how they behave.
- The New Brand & Localism: There are well over 150,000 new brands in the UK – go find them! New, emerging brands, platforms, services and offers must be wholly embraced as they are transforming consumer expectation. (There have been 4.6m new companies started at Companies House in the past eight years… if you assume a 30% success rate, that means in the past eight years there will have been 1.38m new succeeding businesses that is 3,000 a week for eight years! If 15% are retail that is 500 new retail brands a week for 8 years so there’s something every exciting happening on a local level.)
- No Silver Bullet, only unique, bespoke solutions: There is no simple or singular answer… Milligan don’t have the answer, no one really does… the key is knowing the right questions to ask along the partnership journey to the answer.