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UK Retail – signs of life or a terminal case?

18 October 2018

After a busy start to the year we are excited to be recruiting to 2 client facing roles to help us keep up with demand in our retail team.

 

Post 1

The Project Manager role will deliver architectural and project management services for refurbishment and new store projects. The candidate should have experience of pre and post-contract elements including scoping, tendering, contract administration and on-site management of contractors and other consultants.

This is a permanent, full time position, primarily based out of our Hednesford premises, with travel throughout the UK. See the full job description here.

 

Post 2

The Architectural Technologist role will provide architectural support to our retail client portfolio, providing a flexible and responsive service and will be expected to work on other projects as and when the need arises, including carrying out measured surveys and the production of acquisition and condition reports.

This is a full-time position for a fixed term of 6 months, primarily based out of our Hednesford premises, with some work from home due to the current COVID situation. See the full job description here.

 

We’re a small team so we expect everyone to be happy to help out with client work as necessary.

 

To apply please send a CV, covering letter and a portfolio of work examples to recruitment@hlpltd.net (Please state which role you are applying for in the subject bar)

 

We like to keep our ears to the ground on the UK retail industry, so we were interested in this piece from BBC News, suggesting that a net 1,123 stores disappeared from Britain's top 500 high streets in the first six months of the year.

The article was based on a report from accountancy firm PwC, which found that 14 shops a day are disappearing from high streets, and said fashion and electrical stores had suffered most as customers did more shopping online. Restaurants and pubs were also struggling, as fewer people go out to eat or drink.

With nearly 30 years of high street retail experience between us, we like to think we know what we are talking about and we are a little more optimistic than the report suggests. In our experience things are changing for the better, albeit rather slowly. Landlords, concerned with the prospect of having empty units, are being more accommodating and offering more flexibility on deals. We are currently working with a raft of clients on their first stores, in locations and units that would have been impossible a few years ago. The changing market is offering opportunities to those with the courage and the funding to start a retail business.

The next few months will of course be critical, but we believe that retailers with a strong offer and a sound business structure are thriving. The retail sector is one that has to constantly evolve, and high streets need to adapt. There needs to be a joined up approach to revitalising our high streets, to include business and local government leadership, a more community based approach, and individual towns working out what is successful for them. The Grimsey report explores a new model of high streets, where retail is part of an overall offer, alongside housing and community spaces.

Undoubtedly we still need full rates reform, and we need a positive Christmas campaign. But please don’t write off UK retail just yet.

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