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‘Collaboration is key to thriving high streets’

Adele Crombie, Owner of women’s denim retailer ALC in Edinburgh

In the last few years there have been a number of changes on the high street. Among other factors, economic pressures and social trends have led to the demise of some of the biggest names in retail, fuelling discussion about the best way to keep our town centres from disappearing altogether.

In larger areas, high streets exist in different forms within inner-city ‘villages’. As retailers considering a location we have to think about what sort of person lives nearby, how many people walk through the street each day, what those people are looking for and what businesses currently occupy space there. Answering these questions allows us to tailor our offering to suit a range of potential customers, widening the footfall net.

Much like brand adjacency and in-store mix, our high street shops can differentiate while also working together to ensure a number of tastes and customer types are catered for.

Thinking about Thistle Street in Edinburgh, where ALC is situated, there are customers who feel they can get everything they need from the road - from basics to ballgowns, a quiet lunch to a few drinks after work.

All the businesses have strong and varied identities, but by working together as a collection of shops and by reflecting consumer lifestyles we can become a destination street, driving footfall at any time of the day. It’s this collaboration that will hopefully help us lure customers to the street again and again.

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