Breathing new life into Britain’s high streets – Technology Strategy Board
Business have been challenged to come up with new ways to rejuvenate Britain’s high streets, as part of an £8m investment by the Technology Strategy Board
The high street is facing a growing challenge from online shopping and out-of-town superstores.
Today’s shoppers spend more than half of their outlay away from town and city centres. While sales from physical stores, both in and out of town, have remained constant over the last five years, online sales have risen by 222% or £18.5bn.
Despite a positive outlook for retail as a whole – with increasing year-on-year retail sales and a near 20% increase in online sales over the past year, high vacancy rates and challenging trading conditions for the High St remain.
A new competition through TSB will encourage exciting new developments that could change the way business is done across our high streets – David Willetts, University and Science Minister explained the following;
“Technology plays a vital role in people’s everyday lives and has the ability to influence our movements and shopping habits. By developing innovations to regenerate the retail sector we will be able to breathe new life into the UK’s high streets. This competition will encourage exciting new developments that could change the way business is done across our high streets. Giving shoppers and businesses real time information that they can use to their advantage will make a real difference in helping to boost the UK economy. This competition is aimed at encouraging businesses of all sizes to come up with innovations that address key challenges, such as ways we can combine both physical and virtual shopping or develop real-time parking information.”
The competition, ‘Re-imagining the high street‘, is being run under the SBRI (Small Business Research Initiative) programme, which provides opportunities for innovative businesses to develop products or services that solve particular challenges faced by government bodies.