Retailers also have to help themselves

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From: Gareth Poppleton, Managing Director, Retail Merchant Services, Cliffe Park Way, Morley.

I WRITE with reference to your story titled ‘The High Street needs more help to thrive’ (The Yorkshire Post, June 27). There’s no denying that Britain’s high streets are under some strain right now.

The recent recession coupled with consumers’ growing addiction to online shopping has meant that retailers, particularly independents and market stalls, have to do far more to compete.

However, although councils should be doing as much as they can to help the high street succeed, retailers also need to adapt to changing consumer behaviour and offer a consistent customer experience at all times which embraces new technology.

And while new technology may seem daunting to smaller retailers, there are still many ways it can be utilised to fit with the scale of their business.

We recently provided electronic chip and PIN payment terminals to a number of Bradford market traders at the Plaza in Thornbury, a move that has proved popular with shoppers who carry less cash.

Online retail is increasingly popular and allowing customers to order and pay before visiting your shop is just one way to keep up with larger retail competitors.

The key to high street survival is to provide a proposition that shoppers want and then provide the means to help them browse and purchase in the manner most convenient to them.

Doing zero over contracts

From: Louis Kasatkin, The Campaign Against Zero Hours Contracts, Pinderfields Road, Wakefield.

WHILE the announcement from the coalition on the banning of exclusivity clauses in zero hour contracts represents a very modest step in the right direction, it nevertheless underlines this and previous administrations’ moral cowardice in their failure to confront their friends in the lucrative, closed world of personnel recruitment agencies.

The devastating blight which private employment agencies and their version of medieval serfdom have wreaked upon our national economic life over the decades is as great as existed prior to the abolition of slavery.

Alas for our present generation of political representatives and their supine cronies in the media; they embody Edmund Burke’s dictum, that in order for evil to triumph it is only necessary that good men do nothing.

And clearly all politicians in this present age are indeed doing nothing about zero hours contracts.

Three things to sort chaos

From: Rachel Reeves, Leeds West MP and Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary.

I AM writing in response to Julian Smith MP’s speech (The Yorkshire Post, July 2) about the House of Commons debate I led on the performance of the Department for Work and Pensions under David Cameron.

We called the debate because of the chaos and waste which are making life harder for people in Leeds and around the country.

The motion I proposed called on the Government to do three things to start to sort out the chaos, delays and waste. First, set a time limit for making disability benefit assessment decisions. Second, be open with the public and publish internal documents about risks to universal credit. And third, come clean about the impact of rising benefits spending on taxpayers.

Rather than backing Labour’s call for action on the chaos in the Department for Work and Pensions, Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs voted against the sensible and responsible proposals we made.

This Government is doing little to help people are who are struggling to make ends meet. They refuse to bring in a Compulsory Jobs Guarantee which would have helped people like the job seekers I met at Pudsey job centre recently to get off benefits and into work.

Justice for the miners

From: J Smith, Belmont Villas, Askern, Doncaster.

YOUR correspondent Mr Snowden (The Yorkshire Post, June 30) thinks that the police should be commended for their actions at Orgreave. He states that the BBC castigate them for alleged misdemeanours. He mentions the IPCC investigation into allegations against the police instigated because of a BBC programme.

I lived in a pit village during the Miners’ Strike and saw what these guardians of justice did first hand. It’s not retribution I want, it’s justice.

Textile legacy on shop floor

From: Iain Morris, Caroline Street, Saltaire, Shipley, West Yorkshire.

IN connection with Chris Binns (The Yorkshire Post, June 26) on Salts Mill, 2,000 people worked there in 1953, 1,000 of whom were Polish.

I did read an actress say what a good place Bradford was to grow up in the sixties and that half the Latvian intelligentsia worked at Manningham Mills. It is certain that a lot of different people found a livelihood on the shop floor of the Bradford textile industry.

Looking back, I am very glad that included me.