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Retail Trade: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN 34461, tabled on 16 July 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the long term viability of town centre retailing in response to changes in purchasing behaviour during the covid-19 restrictions.

Answered on

21 July 2021

The Government recognises and values the diversity of the retail sector and is clear that it wants to see the sector continue to thrive in all forms and settings, including town centres.

Retail remains a key part of the high street and thriving town centres will need a strong retail offering. While the trend towards online shopping has been accelerated by Covid-19, 72% of retail sales in 2020 took place in stores and physical retail will remain an important route to consumers.

The Retail Sector Council remains a key part of working to address the challenges the sector faces and on 15 July. The Government published the Build Back Better High Streets Strategy, which sets out our long-term plan to support the evolution of high streets into thriving places to work, visit and live. The report can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/build-back-better-high-streets.

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