Watch the Innovation Studio: Uncoventional places & spaces

5th May 2023 | Jack Oliver

High streets aren’t dying, they’re evolving, according to John Abbate, special projects lead at Save The High Street.

“High streets have a chance to be reborn, and you have all these online brands […], they now need to be physical. They ‘killed’ the high street, but now they’re actually the ones moving in”, he argued at Completely Retail Marketplace’s Innovation Studio session, ‘Unconventional places and spaces’.

He also suggested London is not quite the ‘cool’ city it once was.

John Abbate was joined by Fay Cannings, the founder of Seekd, who believes that more pop-up stores and department stores will be making an appearance on our high streets.

“I think the department model works, but obviously a lot of department stores have sadly suffered over recent years, perhaps because they’re not keeping up with the times, they’re not really tuning into different trends and different shifts in the market”, she said.

“I’d like to see more sustainable, environmentally friendly, and unique department stores which should really start to energise the high street more.”

Chris Jukes, director of Liverpool ONE, also joined the discussion about how retail space has changed.

“It’s not just about shopping, so for us as the landlord, it’s what is it that we’re offering? Fundamentally [Liverpool ONE] is a place that people come to socialise, so we have to provide that setting, that canvas for which people can socialise, share moments, and enjoy the space.”

Watch the full Innovation Studio session above.


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