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Clare Rayner, the Retail Champion

Too often, major supermarkets, such as Tesco, are blamed for the “death of the high street”. My belief is that larger, out-of-town retailers can be to blame for this: within towns, where supermarkets offer free parking and vital services, the local community is encouraged to stay local, rather than drive for miles to find a decent-sized shop. Unfortunately, many remain blind to the truth of a town-centre supermarket presence and stubbornly dig their heels in to prevent such developments, slowing down economic growth and much-needed regeneration!

Independent retailers should feel reassured when big supermarkets choose their towns to set up shop. Without big supermarkets, shoppers are forced to travel elsewhere for their essentials, taking potential revenue with them to other stores and unwittingly draining the local economy of its lifeblood. Any retailer hostile to the prospect of investment by major chains is contributing to their own inevitable demise.

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