So the long-awaited Portas Report has finally been unveiled and the ensuing media, and indeed social media, furore – which seems to follow Mary around these days – was as bolshy and belligerent as ever.
So the long-awaited Portas Report has finally been unveiled and the ensuing media, and indeed social media, furore – which seems to follow Mary around these days – was as bolshy and belligerent as ever. From Twitter’s finest ‘outraged of Tunbridge Wells’ ,‘how very dare she’ comments, to the Daily Mail’s bizarre ‘bringing bingo to the high street’ angle, it was a newspaper columnist’s dream and no doubt some poor civil servant’s nightmare.
In the fashion sector, everyone has their own take. Indies still see Portas as a champion and this report as their key to reclaiming the high street. Some bigger players ridicule her idea for a national market day, and see the report as window dressing, while out-of-town shopping centres are no doubt quite disgruntled about her suggestions on introducing favourable rules for the high street on both planning and parking.
The truth is that when Drapers called around, most people hadn’t actually read the report. Those that had all had their own views, but one thing they agreed on is that this is the first time it has come onto the national agenda for discussion, which must be a positive.
Apparently when Mary took on the job earlier this year she was handed a huge pile of government reports on the subject that had been gathering dust in a Westminster cupboard. The discussion this week has already blown the dust off those, and opened the way for the sector to have its say.
My advice is to read the report and then tell your MP what you think. Regardless of how you feel about Portas, she has created a window of opportunity too good to miss.
Merry Christmas from all at Drapers.
- Caroline Nodder, Editor-in-Chief