Never on a Sunday – or Monday?

GUERNSEY’S retail sector has come out strongly against GST in these past few days. It warns it could be the final straw for many shopkeepers.

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?

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