These are trying times for retail, particularly on the high street, with people feeling pressure on their purses, and decline, symbolised by empty shops hastening further decline country-wide.
The UK has come up with an idea to revitalise town streets – high street rental auctions. It wants empower local authorities to take over leasing of town centre units empty for a year or more – and it's been branded as an ‘attack on lazy landlords’.
But the British Property Foundation wants government not to penalise property owners, but help them with regeneration, a seemingly far-off plan raised for parts of St Peter Port by the Development & Planning Authority.
Nobody wants empty properties anywhere, let alone in town centres – the challenge is to rebuild vibrant spaces with the outlets and services that people want.
Pressure on retailers has now seen one of Jersey’s top department stores announce a trial to switch from trading six days a week to five. Voisins says its staffing challenge is so acute – 12% down – that it is now closing Sundays and Mondays. Rather than seven-day shopping, one that has never taken off locally outside of supermarkets, is that a future for high street trading?