High streets ‘in death spiral’

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A VETERAN retailer has urged the Government to reject Mary Portas’s plans to save the high street, claiming many shopping streets are “in a death spiral”.

Phil Wrigley, the chairman of Majestic Wine, who has held directorships at New Look, Debenhams and BHS, likened high streets to the shipbuilding industry, and said many should be converted to housing.

He said many shopping streets were “irrelevant to the needs of shopping today” as people chose instead to shop on the internet or at supermarkets and out-of-town malls. He said the findings of TV star Portas’s review into how to save the UK’s high streets held the “right diagnosis, wrong prescription”.