A new report initiated by government and the Future High Streets Forum has found that high streets could make billions of pounds in additional revenue and increase footfall by making more of the latest digital technology available to small shopkeepers.
The Digital High Street Report 2020 found that local businesses and independent traders are missing a trick by not keeping up with the digitally savvy modern shopper and using more free and low cost digital technologies.
It proposes the creation of a new high street ‘laboratory’ which would provide a one-stop-shop where small shopkeepers, businesses and communities can get advice on what they need to do to get digital.
High Streets Minister Penny Mordaunt said: “High streets contribute billions of pounds to the economy and we know digital is the way forward so it is vitally important traders and town centres keep up with the way people shop if they are to continue to thrive. The new digital laboratory is one idea that could ensure small businesses have the tools and skills they need to compete with the big players. We want to future proof our high streets so they can remain at the heart the community for decades to come.”
Minister for the Digital Economy, Ed Vaizey said: “I welcome the work of the Digital High Street Board and the leadership of John Walden in compiling this report. There is no doubting the importance of thriving high streets to the economic health of towns and villages throughout the UK. I am convinced technology can play a part in helping make high streets more relevant and accessible in today’s and future modern high streets. This report is an important contribution to considering how best to ensure a bright future for the UK’s fast changing high streets.”