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Letters to March 7, 2009

The round-up of letters to the editor

Letter of the week

Innovation is weapon against clone towns

With fewer and potentially more powerful brands in the market, what is next for the many independent retailers that require support for their survival? Town centre management bodies have a key role to play to encourage competition and diversity in local economies.

They should address consumer concerns about competition, choice and dominance of major brands to defend towns against homogenisation and becoming bland ‘clone towns’.

It is essential for district councillors and government bodies to work to eliminate the increasing number of vacant retail units in towns and city centres.

There is nothing worse than visiting a shopping centre or a high street only to be greeted by tawdry-looking vacant shop units. With the convenience of online shopping, consumers need to be tempted out to ‘make a day of it’ in store.

One council developed a poster campaign to cover the exteriors of empty properties in their town. It is innovation of this kind that will maintain and restore consumer confidence and bring back the enjoyment of shopping.

We must regenerate retail, before our indies shut for good. Indies must lobby landlords, councils and trade associations to develop and fund effective marketing initiatives to keep people shopping in this vital part of the retail sector.

  • Karl McKeever, director, Visual Thinking, Leicestershire

Learn to be an entrepreneur

The London College of Fashion (LCF) has set up a one-day seminar aimed at inspiring fashion entrepreneurs in response to increasing interest in business start-up courses.

The event will provide attendees with an insight into launching a fashion label and maintaining long-term success in difficult financial climates.

The day will be overseen by Toby Meadows, owner of womenswear label Belle & Bunty, a visiting lecturer at LCF and author of How To Set Up and Run a Fashion Label.

Other key speakers include Angela Quaintrell, former fashion buyer at department store Liberty.

Seminars on finance, product development, PR and marketing, how to sell online, and intellectual property are also planned.

For more details, visit

Linda Roberts, senior business manager, London College of Fashion, London

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