Wednesday, 15 April 2009

The Retail Recession

In another sign of the currently flailing economy, the local retail trade today received news that three shops in the Oracle shopping centre have gone into administration.

The credit crunch is putting pressure on the labour market, so it's worth remembering the consequences in social and human terms. Johnny Forham investigates the correspondence between recent rises in property crime the general troubles of the economy.

Brian Moore explains that these problems are sympomatic of a failure to undertake correct risk analysis, which should be prioritised.

Daniel Hillman adds to the cautious optimism, arguing that the current market weakness represents a 'huge opportunity' for the smart investor who can recognise quality and provide long-term commitment.

Cllr Tony Jones draws attention to a new government scheme offering £3m funding to revive 'ghost-town' shopping centres. He also urges Reading to stop wasting public money on new buildings when we can follow the good example of the new NHS health centre in Broad St Mall.

Jeremy Grimaldi reports from Swindon that this populist move is a move in the right direction, although the British Property Federation and British Retail Consortium criticised government spin on the issue.

Industry representatives offered the explanation that the government is providing virtually no money for short-term fixes which don't address the underlying problems, suggesting that the reapplication of empty rates relief would be more effective and cheaper than to subsidize growing liabilities for more 'window dressing'.

Meanwhile Wokingham traders have urged politicians to provide immediate assistance during the current recession to complement their development of plans covering the next few decades, as the town centre "is on its knees at the moment".

Oranjepan says:
If you're trying to dig your way out of a rut, be careful not to dig yourself into a grave!

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Key Retail Indicators, Reading 2008 --> here

More reports from University of Reading's School of Real Estate & Planning --> here

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