More than retail…!

Can existing #retail and #hospitality businesses play a part in helping their #highstreet place tackle vacancy…?

It was a question I was asked at a meeting of business owners and managers in the very lovely town of Henley-on-Thames.

And the answer is 100% yes they can.

This is one of the towns with only a few vacant units tho admittedly some of them may be tricky being ex-banks in large heritage buildings.

But still…

The first way is direct. Thinking thru what business types would add to the existing mix and working with the town centre manager to help ‘encourage’ those here.

But we focused the conversation on two other things.

  • ‘Promote’. Being the very best they can be on social media as individual businesses and by sharing, liking etc each other’s posts to create a collective town buzz across platforms.
  • …and a range of #placemaking things around having the town centre ‘look’ amazing. One small example I gave was starting their next meet at the rail station then key car parks, and making the journey in as a visitor / customer, identifying anything that’s not right and helping improve that.

Both can help boost footfall, extend dwell-time, create new ambassadors for the place, and attract inward investment. And all of those can impact on vacancy…!

Thanks to Town Centre Manager, Paul Carey, for the invite and all those there for their insights.

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