MaryPortas.com

12 Dec 2011


Illustrations by Dermot Flynn

I want to put the heart back into the centre of our High Streets, re-imagined as destinations for socialising, culture, health, wellbeing, creativity and learning. Places that will develop and sustain new and existing markets and businesses. The new High Streets won’t just be about selling goods. The mix will include shops but could also include housing, offices, sport, schools or other social, commercial and cultural enterprises and meeting places. They should become places where we go to engage with other people in our communities, where shopping is just one small part of a rich mix of activities.

High Streets must be ready to experiment, try new things, take risks and become destinations again. They need to be spaces and places that people want to be in. High Streets of the future must be a hub of the community that local people are proud of and want to protect.

My goal is to breathe economic and community life back into our High Streets and town centres. I want to see all our High Streets bustling with people, services, and jobs. They should be vibrant places that people choose to visit. They should be destinations. Anything less is a wasted opportunity.

Please read through my full report below, or click here for a summary of my 28 recommendations.

[gview file="http://www.maryportas.com/wp-content/uploads/The_Portas_Review.pdf" save="1" cache="0" force="1"]

Comments

I’d love to hear your feedback. Please leave a comment below.

660 Responses to “”

  1. [...] worried that some of the small pots of money available as a result of the Portas Review will go the same way, instead of being used to support people and ideas that will galvanise others [...]

  2. Jeff says:

    Hi Mary. You are an inspiration to this Country. I feel that only you have the impact and determination to rescue the UK. Britian needs to get back to our CORE of manufacturing and exporting goods worldwide. I feel that what you did with Kinky knickers was only a start. PLEASE can you communicate to the Goverment that it needs to invest in British manufacturing again. We need to seek out our uniquenees and EXPORT EXPORT EXPORT EXPORT . Mary PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE help !!!!!!

  3. Westwood says:

    Hi Mary, whilst I fully support what you are doing and try to watch most of the shows you do, I can’t help but feel like you are looking at an ideal world for retailers.
    I love retail but no one ever seems to cover the side of it where when working for major retail companies no one sees the other side of the coin.
    People are demanding more and more and when you are on the front line with deadlines, small salaries to expand profit for the company, day in, day out people are there being threatened, sworn at, abused and belittled.
    I would love it if you could go behind the scenes to see exactly what real people go through every day to pay their bills.
    I truly beleive that we should get behind Britain and get it being self sufficient, we can produce quality just as good as the foreign countries that we are importing from, bringing more jobs to the country and getting more employment where it’s needed.

  4. Mary, Buxton is rolling. We are well on the way to a Town Team and the shopkeepers have a new Buxton Traders organisation. I challenge you to be as enthusiastic about Buxton as you are about Warwick. Cheers!

  5. Terry Shaw says:

    Mary you are brilliant, how I wish the government and business would consider the customer. It seems the only thing they are interested in is making more and more money with no consideration to consumers. Your ideas about bringing production back to Britain is fantastic its so good to see the young people gain self-worth with employment. Thank you for caring. I have to agree with Fay Hargreaves, it would do this country the world of good to reintroduce the off licence back, to help stop the deaths of young people through this cheap alcohol. This again shows the greed of business people with little regard to what is happening to this country.

  6. Craig says:

    I have watched and enjoyed your numerous TV series and greatly admire your support for independent business and the revitalisation of the high street. Recently you have praised and shown support for BID’s (Business Improvement Districts) especially for Town Centre’s. Although I also support the idea of BID’s in principle I would like the opportunity to show you that their creation is not focussed on benefiting the businesses, but instead ends up being more biased to the Councils.

    I campaigned against the conception of a BID in the Town where I live and where my wife has a shop, not because I didn’t agree with the idea, but because it all appeared to be for the benefit of the council and because I believed that the business leaders involved did not have the skills to build a successful BID over the five year period.

    Our BID is now in it’s third year and has had no positive impact in the Town Centre and has very little support from the independent business, but in it’s time has collected nearly £1 million from the levy payers.

    I would like to prove to you how unfair and biased these BID’s can be when setting up, by showing you a good example of one that is being put together right now in another Town. Please allow me the opportunity to show you how these schemes are being established, not to put a stop to BID’s, but in the hope that with your support improvements can be made to their conception and the legislation that governs them and to make them more successful for the businesses that have to pay for them, because our Town Centre’s need much improved leadership.

    Craig

  7. Our beautiful little village, Boston Spa, Wetherby, West Yorkshire is about to be invaded by the TESCO machine with no regard to our existing local shops and convenience store. Why if you have a butchers, bakers, two convenience stores, florists, newspaper shops etc do TESCO think they can just come and wreck all of that by elbowing in on established small local business that cannot compete with the might of TESCO. We don’t want them , we didn’t ask for them and we love our local village High Street. What can we do?????

    • paul says:

      you have to show tesco and their like that they are not wanted in your town,you must convince as many people as possible to carry on buying their weekly shop and all other purchases from your established local shops, this will mean actually paying more for some items. you must, as a town, let tesco rot from lack of sales.
      Unfortunately people dont stick together in this country any more and usually flock like sheep to buy the cheap, chemical ridden,imported and lower quality products from the major supermarkets as soon as they open, leaving our local retailers to wither and die from lost sales.
      Did you know Tesco has just caused massive job losses at dairy crest, its dropped them as its milk supplier.
      Try asking tesco where their milk will come from now……into the ring, enter dirt cheap eastern european, poor quality, poorly regulated milk by the tanker load.

      • All good advice, we are getting local people to sign a pledge that they will not shop at a Tesco Express and have set a campaign HQ on our High Street to encourage local people to support our campaign and our local shops.

  8. Sarah Jones says:

    Mary HELP!!!
    My family business, Woodlands Lifestyle, has been open for a year now. We love being part of the community in Hungerford but the rates are ridiculously high and we feel we can’t go on for much longer. I have been to the VOA and my case is being heard in June, if we are still trading then. Please could you give me some advice? I feel as if I am banging my head against a brick wall. All the shop keepers in Hungerford are in the same boat. The council have just put our rates up again, another slap in the face!

  9. Marion says:

    I think the heart of a high street lies in people being able to do their shopping there and buy what they need without going to a supermarket. My idea is that all supermarkets opening in an area should be required to also open a high street shop selling meat, fish, bakery goods or fruit and veg
    at the same price they would sell them in the supermarket. Other shops would follow if the basics were in every high street. My local shopping area has 2 butchers, a fishmonger, a bakery, a greengrocer and a bookshop amongst other things. it is more expensive but I would never have to go to a supermarket if I didn’t want to. If they were the same price – and I could park – I would never choose to go to a supermarket.

  10. S Shannon says:

    Dear Mary

    I am a keen stamp collector, and think we need more philatelic shops on the high street. There are only 2 or 3 left in Brighton now, but 30 years ago there were many more, with book shops also selling used and posted postcards maybe as many as 25-30. The 2-3 shops are fairly busy on saturdays, but propally make littlle money throughout the week / year. So indivually not busy enough.
    ,

    I think if you could get the Britiish Philatelic Bureau / Post Office to open up some larger properties, I feel sure local stamp sellers and phlatelic dealers may be attracted to open up stalls, in some sort of Stamp Fair/emporium – Certainly this is one of the two or three shops that I would be willing to travel into town to visit. I feel sure I would persuade you in person if you saw my wide collection, nowadays unfortunately stamps are ideally suited to sale on the internet, and delivery by post.

    Check-out my site freedomprotest,com to see some stamps and to see revolutionary philaterly in action (campaigning for the freedom of Aung San Suu Kyi, Ai Wei Wei and Liao Li Wu). Hopefully the site can inspire something in peoples imaginations. ys ss

  11. Stuart McLean says:

    I work as a volunteer for a charity that helps young people set up and run their own businesses by providing mentors, etc. We are just one of several.
    Many of the young people need to learn how to sell their products and a market stall is an excellent way to interact with the public and learn about what they will and will not buy. I think that it would be very constructive if councils could set aside on day a week for these young people to test trade on a market. There would not be any charge for the stall. After 4 weeks, the young person would move on. That day could be widely publised and then known as a great place where future businesses started.
    There are many excellent young people making innovative products – let them have a showcase.

  12. [...] towns selected to share of the £1 million currently being offered by the Government, following a report last year by business guru Mary [...]

  13. Callum Stephenson says:

    Hi Mary and your team,
    I just thought I would give you my opinion, having worked in retail from sales to managing stores for over twenty years. I have another job now, but occasionally perform mystery shops as a supplement to earnings. Today I am in PC World. I honestly think the problem is the corporate greed and lack of humanity in stores today. Local authorities have allowed cash to dictate what has happened to the retail industry where they could have set rules on the big stores.
    And stores are truly only interested in one thing. DSG, for instance have their targets based on high margin additions to the sale and the dreaded product support. In short they want your bank details to charge you each month to give them a revenue stream. The likes of Mr Browett, for instance, being paid million pound fees off the back of minimum wage staff on part time contracts, being threatened with disciplinary action if they fail to suck enough customers dry. I found the ethos abhorrent, and from my briefing for my mystery shop today I see the ethos is still there.
    I am not totally sure what the answer is, as I cannot understand the way consumers fall for overpriced rubbish in order to be part of the crowd. My particular bag would proably be fashion and makeup, although with a daughter, 11, and a son, 17, I fall for it myself far too often.
    I hope I have made a little sense, though you see I could happily do your job with passion if only for different reasons. Time to steel myself to enter my local PC World to pretend to buy a telly, while judging some poor part timers every word.

    Shame about the weather.
    Regards.

  14. Caroline Tidy says:

    The knickers are brilliant but most women like matching bra and briefs. How about giving that a go

  15. Pam Jones says:

    Hi Mary

    Having been a follower of the great ‘Sirs’, John Harvey-Jones and Gerry Robinson, I have put you in my category of greats. I have been an avid fan since I first saw ‘Mary Queen of Shops’ in 2007, and think what you have done wonders for Britain, particularly with ‘Kinky Knickers’ and the team behind it, and hope that you will continue to move this country forward. It’s fantastic.

    I have read the Portas Review, one Friday morning at 3am, prior to putting in a letter to support the Gosport Borough Council bid to seek funding from the government in response to the review, with the possibility of being part of the Town Team.

    I think the review was very comprehensive, thorough, and the recommendations are what this country needs to put the Great back in Britain. Coming from the Midlands, and now living on the South Coast (where good old fashioned markets are sparce), I believe that markets are a big factor in bringing the pizazz back into Blighty, and allowing us ‘to breathe economic and community life back into our towns… to see our high streets bustling with people, services and jobs.’

    This country was and is full of great people, with great ideas and skills, but with a recession these are not being utilised to their full potential. However, having a pair of rose tinted spectacles, but also an analytical mind (as an accountant) I do believe it’s possible. We just have to do our bit where we can. The more people that make a difference the more great the country becomes.

    Love Your Country

    Kind regards

    Pam

  16. Lynda Franklin says:

    I was so excited by Mary’s Kinky Knickers campaign that after I watched Part 1, I ordered two pairs from Liberty’s. Now, over 3 weeks later I am still waiting. Should this be happening?

  17. Dear Mary,

    I have produced a report entitled re-inhabiting the high street as part of academic research at University College London. Developed through personal observation and analyses of an empirical case study, using both visual (photography and film) and textual analyses it seeks to deciper spatial arrangements and the way in which people actually engage with our high streets. It would be most useful to your research as it engages with many issues that have been overlooked. I commend your research however kindly suggest my research would agument your own. I am happy to forward the document but require a direct response.

    Kind regards

    Mr. C.J Worsfold

  18. genti says:

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  19. Karen Blower says:

    Hi Mary, I run what you’d probably term a micro-business, and I really think your report neglects a fundamental link in the enterprise chain. The basic, bottom end is that – as Marco Polo said – people live by trade and industry. People want to work, create, sell and take pride in what they do,make a living – be it ever so modest. The High Street does not encourage this – far from it. I have encoundered suspicion and opposition right from my first enquiry about getting a peddlar’s license ( The council won’t issue any because you are competing with the retail chain stores in the mall unquote). Now maybe this sounds like an old fashioned joke, being a peddlar, and a name change wouldn’t hurt, but this is the realistic place where many people need to start. My local market has 15 empty stalls yet won’t rent me a table, the local council has many many empty stores and prefers to keep them that way rather than offer opportunities such as Suzanne, above, mentioned to many struggling local start-ups. The Chamber of Commerce won’t have you till you’re making ‘real money, the Trading Standards people try to catch you out rather than offer encouragement, the whole attitude is one of contempt. We can’t all be millionnaires and we don’t all want to be. I work very hard at making a sustainable living, I’m not a ‘local business’ most of my sales are abroad, I started from absolutely nothing and its growing very slowlybut its a million times better than being on benefits. I have attended business start up courses – all aimed at writing a business plan in order to borrow start up capital, which I refuse to do. I really do feel there is not only a gap but an opportunity here, to offer more basic nuts and botls support. -’ just get out there and do it!’

    • Andy Fuller says:

      here,here Karen you have said what I’ve been trying to say to councils and a like in the Essex area for years I myself have been trying to get stalls on markets and shops but nothing and why because I wish to sell something that is all ready on a stall or in a shop gone are the days when markets had 3/4 stalls all selling the same giving customers better value for money after all keeping the customer happy is what counts in retail..

      What you said was spot on lets hope someone takes notice..

      Andy Fuller

  20. [...] THE GOVERNMENT has issued its formal response to the Portas High Street Review. [...]

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  22. Rob Newson says:

    Dear Mary,
    The Bottom Line was great, it highlighted much of what needs to be done in order to improve British industry. It brought tears to my eyes and filled me with pride in equal measures.
    I am not worried that the Kinky ‘Alan Wickers’ are out of stock as I can wait however; I feel sorry for the poor guys manufacturing them, they must be exhausted, but pleased with the over-time! My fiancé will be thrilled when they arrive, well done Sister!

    Kind regards

    Rob ;0)

  23. Kerry says:

    Come on Norwich! – couldn’t find Mary’s Kinky Knickers anywhere in the City Centre. John Lewis said waiting for stock arrival and young assistant said nowhere in Norwich is currently stocking – I checked and she is right. What a shame. I was hoping to support this wonderful project.

  24. Kerry says:

    I was inspired by Mary’s programme “Mary’s bottom line” and thought I would renew my underwear drawer with the product only to discover Norwich City Centre is not stocking the product in John Lewis, House of Fraser, M&S or anywhere else for that matter. What a shame. The young assistant in John Lewis was well rehearsed in saying that they are currently awaiting stock delivery etc etc. which leads me to thinking I’m not the only one enquiring – come on Norwich, after the conclusion of the episode, women will be interested and wanting to buy in order to support this wonderful project.

  25. Jeremy Haworth says:

    Dear Miss Portas,

    Interesting column as is often the case, but I am perplexed by the scores. In such places surely the item of paramount importance is the coffee, with the fixtures and fittings being very secondary, the staff somewhat less so.

    Costa – sickly coffee is 7/10. Pret – all great, 8/10. Star – horror horror 5/10. Nero – utter uck in general, 6/10.

    I would have though 4, 8, 2, 3 would have been more in line.

    I never use such places, over many years past of working in London I rarely had the vital need to pay numerous pounds for what I can do better at home for pennies, but of late have encountered Costa where they are part of a Tesco establishment as a requirement of Mystery Shopper details, when I am reimbursed £1 after having to buy something there. On the whole I have found these locations good on seating, staff and coffee, so would go for an 8.

    Kindest regards.

    Jeremy Haworth

  26. Yozza says:

    “Local areas should implement free controlled parking schemes that work for their town centres and we should have a new parking league table”

    In Denmark they operate free parking by way a small manually operated clock located on the windscreen which you set when to the time you parked your car, eg if you park at 1pm and the car park offers 2 hour free packing the parking attendant will know exactly what time you entered and are due to leave. It seems to work well there maybe it could work here too and put an end to the rip off parking fees that are killing our town centres.

  27. paul hobson says:

    My wife and myself run a small franchised carpet store in a run down area of Nottingham . We have had the business for five years and we have now been given the option to upgrade our store . We could have moved to a purpose built out of town shed on a retail park leaving our present community with a run down eyesore of a building that no one will use ,steadily getting shabbier as the years go by .. However we like Mary believe that we must bring back shopping to high streets ,local or central .

    Against all advice we are sticking to the area that has stuck with us for the past five years and are about to undertake a re-furbishment of our current property. The work has spiralled since we made the descision to do this and we have now finalised the quotes in excess of £100k

    We believe in what your doing Mary we are proud to think as you do

  28. Colette Sales says:

    Dear Mary

    After watching episode three of Mary’s Bottom Line I felt compelled to write to you having been moved to tears several times during the programme. I wanted to let you know what a fantastic thing it is you are trying to do.

    In order to support your efforts I set out to purchase four pairs of Kinky Knickers, one pair for my mum, one for my sister and myself and one pair for my niece, I wanted to send you a photo of three generations being proud to wear British products! Sadly when I tried to purchase on line all the companies supplying the knickers were out of stock – which is great for you, but I will keep my eye out for more stock when it becomes available.

    I also wanted to say that what you are doing goes much deeper than giving much needed employment . It is the essence of much that is wrong with this country today and why a lot of British are not so proud to be British any more, there is not much left to be proud of. That stalwart of Britishness needs to be rekindled to unite people and give them a sense of place and of responsibility to look after our beautiful nation that these days seems to be drowning in litter – look at the road side verges next time you are travelling anywhere! This is all because people no longer have any pride in our country. I believe your quest to bring back manufacturing would help to stem this rot a great deal.

    Next time you meet with Mr Cameron you can tell him that manufacturing in Britain not only gives employment with all those added benefits but goes a long way towards achieving his targets on climate change and sustainability.

    I wish you continued success with your quest to re-establish manufacturing in Britain, I am sure it is what the majority of people in this country want to see happen.

  29. Miyoko Rinnert says:

    The name will live on . . Rest In Peace Sergio (you lived a great life)

  30. Peter Perfect says:

    Mary I’ve watched all your programmes since queen of shops & I’m always empowered by you, keep going lady you rock

  31. Babs says:

    Would love to purchase Kinky Knickers for my sister’s birthday (we were both brought up within 2 mins of the factory) and she still lives there – but can’t get any anywhere and by the time stores and online stores are replenished her birthday will have been and gone.
    Went in Boots in Oldham today to enquire – the staff there didn’t have any idea what I was talking about. – I couldn’t believe it, and so near to the Middleton factory too.

  32. Christie says:

    Just love the kinky knickers, and the ethos behind it (LOL) I always try to buy British in all areas, but it is sooo hard. Now I can finally buy my underwear and feel that I’ve done the country proud. Mind you – I can’t show them to toooooo many people to prove I buy British!!!
    YES, I’M BACKING BRITAIN’S PRODUCTS.

  33. I run a co operative of mums and dads in Worthing who run their small businesses part time. we attend gift fairs etc … As a group and support local charities. Often at the same time Your report re regenerating the high streets certainly inspired me and I wrote to 30 local councils and town planners. I suggested that we could run a market in an empty shop, inviting other local traders to also join us. I have been so disappointed. Only one or two responses which only passed me round the houses.
    Keep up the brilliant work …
    Suzanne

  34. Mary, you are an inspiration! I just watched ‘Mary’s Bottom Line’. I recently saw a ‘Who do you think you are’ episode where it uncovered that silk weaving in the 1800′s was big business in Bethnal Green, London. A similar story, the trade was moved overseas & the family featured suffered for generations to come due to unemployment & their incredible skills were no longer required! So sad. I fully support your vision to kick start British manufacturing again & bring back the High Street! I am a self-employed Image Consultant with a small business (Code Image Consultancy) & aspire to opening a nearly new dress agency in my home town. I find your programs so inspiring & they keep me on track to achieving my retail dreams! Thank you – I can’t wait to see what you do next!

  35. Trevor Barr says:

    I have followed Mary’s show with great interest. Now we know it can be done we must get on and do it. Mary can’t do it for us but two things need to happen: we need to get off our backsides and do it, whether it’s shoes in Northamption or shirts in Londonderry and it must happen quickly before the skill base is lost for ever and then we as a nation must believe it and we must buy, buy, buy, and as we do so, say goodbye to cheap and shoddy goods from abroad.

  36. Mark says:

    What a great job on the presentation of British Manfacturing. We were one of the lucky companies that played a small part in the supply of British products used. Only hope that this sets the seeds in motion for alot more of this and plenty more products to be produced here and not abroad. Fantastic work!!!!!!!!!!!!

  37. Heather Howden says:

    Mary. Do you fancy putting some clout behind the proposed new supermarket on the only car park in Malton, North Yorkshire. No-one wants it, but the car park is owned by the council who has agreed to the planning. they gain to get £5 million from the sale. The final agreement ( pre government approval) and all they keep telling the press is about the 200 extra jobs ( what about the jobs that will go from the high street). We have two supermarkets within Malton and Norton, a small Sainsburies, a proposal for a Sainsburies on a better site and proposal to re develope the cattle market site into a small supermarket, shops and work units. We are hearing the council is going to turn down this planning application but this site needs to be redeveloped not the car park. PLEASE HELP Tescos has already mooved into nearby Kirbymoorside, is trying to get into Easingwold. They have stores in Thirsk and a huge store in York. Why can’t they leave the rural community alone, it’s not as if things are cheaper or better quality. I hate the whole concept of the company.

  38. ALAN WAUGH says:

    I’d love to agree that we leave sweatshops to the Chinese but in the 80 or more factories I’ve been in in China are in 90% of the cases no worse (apart from the toilets) than many I saw in the halcyon days of UK manufacturing which I was involved with in my own factories. Workforces are as happy as mine ever were, motivated and employed.
    I would love to still be running my own factory here but the hard facts are in a product today we can add 2 jetted pockets with flaps for 15 pence. To do that in the UK would be about 4 minutes at minimum 20 pence more like 30 per minute on a product that commands no premium.
    Premium manufacture yes, everyday commercial production I would love to know how.

  39. [...] recent UK Government-sponsored Mary Portas report into how to reverse the decline in the UK High Street found that supermarkets now allocate more [...]

  40. Kim says:

    Hi Mary

    Love Kinky Knickers but everywhere is sold out :-(

    Now, what about woodwork manufacturing, we are a small business in Devon competing with Slovenia etc so much environment policys etc what about jobs, futures, skills all being lost?

  41. jeremy says:

    Well done with the kinky Knickers in Middleton Mary.
    Now – what about men? I have been forced to purchase pants from French supermarkets for a quarter of a century. Why? Sheer comfort – the old Y fronts completely lost their shape years ago and now nothing tolerable is available. Go on Mary – have a go! – Jeremy

  42. Jo Wilton says:

    I have been following your programme on the manufacturing of British `kinky knickers` and have been trying to purchase a pair for myself. It is soooooo true what you said, i , as many women out there are the same, have spent an enormous amount of money over the years, just trying to buy a `quality made` pair of knickers. They don`t last very long, so to me, £10 for a good `pair of pants` is not unreasonable. I wish all the team and yourself (of course :) ) the very best of luck in what is hopefully the start of a lifelong journey in successful British manufacturing. Can`t wait until i can get hold of my new knickers. x x

  43. Trevor Lodge says:

    We need a lot more Mary type people in this country. She should be the Business secretary. Good on you. Brilliant common sense, that seems to be sadly in short supply in the running of this county. Keep it up girl.

    • dawn says:

      i agree that parking has made towns into ghost towns because parking fines are being given constantly to build revenue for councils. i worked as a civil enforcement officer (manager) and was told to get each officer to get 9 tickets per day,why deny when councils should confront the problems within the companies they contract out to.i agree with parking on street to be made safer by means of yellow lines where areas are plagued by dangerous parking but to encourage people to come to towns and be able to park and shop with free parking based on 2 to 4 hours and people who park to go to work in other outer towns would still have to pay because they would be staying longer.there is too many excuses but no compromise.MARY DONT GIVE ANY TOWNS A CHANCE OF THE MONEY FUNDS AVAILABLE UNLESS THEY OFFER FREE PARKING!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  44. Glen Sutton says:

    Hi Mary, this report is just what independent retailers like me need and I fully support it!
    My business isn’t in a run down area but still has many shop units empty. We have also been hampered by skewed rules on rates relief and miles of local authority red tape which prevents start-ups, like ours, realising our full potential quickly enough….. slow growth due to bureaucratic delays can lead to critical cash flow problems for small businesses and this can be fatal! Best of luck with the project!

  45. People travel to larger department stores out of area because you can access a wider choice. Smaller local department stores should stock as wide a range as possible but only one of each size so providing space . You should then be able to order on line in store. This way you gain the benefit of both systems.
    Also smaller specialist retailers should link up with retailers in other towns and publicise each others stocklines again possibly ordering via the net.
    In both cases it is about widening the choice that is available to attract footfall

  46. Woody says:

    Hi Mary,

    Have you got any plans to manufacture the Union Jack knickers with the lace? With the Jubilee
    celebrations and Olympics this is surely an opportunity you can’t afford to miss. Can I please have the first pair?

    Thanks
    Woody

  47. Ady Howlett says:

    Hooray – Ipswich has got the high street funding! If you ever come to Ipswich look above the street level to the first floor level – Ipswich is a very attractive Shopping town – Now look down to street level – Urghh McDonalds, Mobile Phone Shops, Charity Shops & Shoe Shops with no unity of architecture or links to the historic buildings. It is just a mess of huge windows with cluttered store signs. Town centre could be great if some simple control was placed on shop frontage display.

  48. I guess this is kind of similar to what the folks at Nandimobile are doing with their service?

  49. Shirley Titterington says:

    Hi, i think mary is fantastic, very inspiring person and i love the made in britian knickers (and everything else she has done) I hope that at some point they will be accessible for some of us smaller retailers to buy and sell. Will that be that possibility in the future? I really want to sell british made and havent come accross anything in my 3 years of visiting the buying shows. I understand the big retailers will make this product but would it be something that hundreds of smaller businesses could also provide to? our outlet is in small town where non of the current large stores are which is surrounded by loads of small villages. I would love to sell this product.

  50. Fay Hargreaves says:

    Brilliant on the british knicker manufacturing – well done again for being a champion!
    one idea for you – is it possible to stop supermarkets selling alcohol? it would bring an old fashioned off licence back into the HIgh Street who knows the local people and therefore would not sell to underage drinkers. The price would be right and stop alcohol being bought for pocket money by our youngsters causing havoc on the streets. This works in Australia. Keep up the great work.

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