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Report highlights apathy among Lichfield’s retailers

A report released by Lichfield Live has highlighted a level of apathy amongst city retailers towards the economic prosperity of Lichfield.

The report, which follows a survey of independent retailers in the city centre, is released on the 6th anniversary of the first planning application for the much-delayed Friarsgate development.

Based on the survey responses, the report draws a number of conclusions;

Retailers are understandably reluctant to submit their views to the council, but failing to take part in formal consultations on projects such as Friarsgate is failing to influence the market environment on which their success is so heavily reliant. Such apathy is likely only to lead to a worsening economic environment for them to trade in.

As retailers rely so heavily on the economic prosperity of the local area, and not just their own marketing ability, they should be devoting at least some resource to groups dedicated to that very aim. Again, there appears to be a lack of engagement from retailers that is unlikely to be helping their prospects.

…This point supports our earlier conclusion about retailer involvement in groups such as the LCCCG. Our FOI request clearly shows decisions being taken by groups that our research shows retailers have little or no knowledge of.

The LCCCG is making a concerted effort to inform and involved retailers but must do more. A recent move to personal distribution of the CitySpeak magazine is welcome but not sustainable and a more long term solution should be sought.

The Portas Pilot exercise has unleashed a wave of enthusiasm amongst local retailers that should be capitalised on by continuing the exercise independently of the Portas pilot, and delivering a long term vision for the city that isn’t aimed purely at winning a government handout.

There is an air of mistrust and cynicism in Lichfield’s retail sector which absolutely needs to be tackled with affirmative action that is led by retailers – with strong support from local authorities – and has strong leadership to avoid the ‘talking shops’ so widely expected and derided.

The full report is available online.

A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee.



  1. Cynic

    9th June, 2012 at 11:09 am

    I put “CitySpeak magazine ” into google – found above article and some other articles not connected with Lichfield .

    Is “CitySpeak magazine ” connected with the council – if so it does explain.

    If a cinema was thought viable – we would have one by now.
    How is the council getting on with signing up a cinematographer?

    I do not mind having a cinema – but it should not be paid for with our tax!!

  2. Andy

    9th June, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    The best news for shoppers that find themselves in Lichfield is that the X12 to Burton now runs every half hour instead of every hour.