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Retail data
2002 Survey
2000 Survey
'99 Survey
'97 Survey
'95 Survey

2000 FINDINGS          Click to return to 2000 Survey.

Key points with selected extracts.......

1.    The number of stores showing strong sales growth jumped in recent years:
.............. in the closing years of the decade the number of stores which managed to achieve sales growth above the rate of inflation increased by almost a quarter.

2.    Carcentrics & city centre developments continued to capture trade from nearby centres: ............... the opening of four more major carcentrics (purpose designed centres catering for car-borne shoppers) in different parts of the country had a significant impact, reducing the level of spending in town centres in their shadow.

3.    The main beneficiaries of the upsurge in spending were small & medium sized towns.

4.    TCM is making a real difference to the performance of centres:  .............  TCM centres are doing much more to capture, cater and care for consumers than non-TCM centres and the percentage of TCM centres which achieved stronger growth in store takings between 1995/6 and 1999/00 was marginally higher than non-TCM centres. 

5.    Successful centres have good access.

6.    Traffic and transport systems work best when they are consumer friendly: .........factors which  had a beneficial effect on the trading performance included new tram systems and creation of bus lanes.  The removal of through traffic makes a big difference to smaller centres.

7.    Successful centres manage car parking so that consumers are encouraged to stay & spend: ............pay and display reduces the length of stay and amount of money spent by shoppers.  It also antagonizes consumers who are caught out and end up being penalized for using the centre.   Controlled Parking Zones can benefit centres but they can also harm consumer attitudes unless their introduction is well managed.

8.    A good quality environment is an essential part of catering for consumers: .........most of the best performing TCM centres reported a good quality of environment but overall 50% - 60% of centres are failing to achieve good standards in street cleaning, removal of graffiti and maintenance and management of streetworks.  Vagrancy and begging are mainly problems associated with cities and larger centres and are linked with social rather than economic issues. 

9.    Markets can be successful and benefit town centres: ............. 97% of successful markets were sited in a primary or secondary location.   Other factors helped were promotion, introduction of farmers or themed markets, good infrastructure and change of management or policies.

10.  More police dedicated to town centre security are required: ............ very few town centres reported specific officers on the ground working closely with businesses and town centre managers.  Police officers need to play a leading role in the teamwork which provides safe and secure town centres.

11.  In most centres the poor quality and level of provision of toilets damages consumer relations: ..............45% of panels said availability of toilets was poor and only 37% said the standard of cleanliness was good.  Provision is best in cities and larger centres but this is only because managed facilities are more commonly available in conjunction with large retail stores and malls.

12.  Unemployment affects trade.   Where the unemployment rate was above 4% the likelyhood of store performance being poor increased significantly.  

13.  Models of good TCM.
A few centres appear to be emerging as models of good TCM.  In these centres retailers had strong growth in takings and they were all reported as achieving consistently high standards in activities aimed at capturing, catering and caring for consumers. 

14.  An equitable system of funding for TCM is needed: ..............An equitable system of funding for TCM is urgently required.  There is increasing concern that long term funding by a few is abused by "free-loaders" i.e. businesses who benefit from the success of TCM but have no intention of contributing.  There are signs that the willingness of some of the traditional funders of TCM to bankroll programmes will not continue for much longer.

15.  Key Performance Indicators - the report contains a list of KPIs which can to be used to evaluate the quality of TCM programmes.

1.   Improving town centre competitiveness and satisfying consumer preferences are different sides of the same coin.  It is now certain that TCM is raising standards for consumers and this is starting to give a competitive edge.  However what has been achieved thus far has mostly been on a shoestring and successful programmes often owe much to the enterprise and enthusiasm of talented individuals.  Until costs are shared among all the beneficiaries the improvements will be patchy and in some places minimal.

2.   TCM has shown the potential to make a major contribution to urban renaissance.  Given the necessary resources it could make towns and cities attractive, not just as shopping destinations but also as quality places in which to live and work.

Click to return to 2000 Survey.                  Click to go to KPIs.