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22 October - 13 November
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Love me do: How to fall in love with your local high street

Retail expert Dr Sarah Montano leads a lively panel of retailers and consumers to debate how we can fall in love with our local high street

Typical high street scene with row of shops and cafes and pedestrians walking on the pavement

My local area theme

What’s on offer?

Retail expert, Dr Sarah Montano leads a lively online panel debate of local retailers, independent retail podcasters and consumers to discuss how we can fall back in love with our local high streets. This event is open to the general public and will be of interest to anyone interested in their local area and those who are in a position to effect change, such as local councillors. We would also very much welcome attendance from retailers to discuss their thoughts on local retail activity. This event is not just focused on theoretical propositions, rather we seek to explore with the public the current challenges and to propose solutions.

The debate will feature a panel of retail experts that include:

The event will be via Zoom and will last a total of 90 minutes. We are keen for audience participation, and we invite questions from the audience on topics such as: 

  • Why do consumers want to shop locally or conversely do not want to shop locally?
  • How can local governments stimulate local consumer demand?
  • How to encourage new retail start-ups to local areas.
  • How to practice responsible retail as a consumer whilst seeking best price value?

What’s it about?

Currently the retail sector is facing many major challenges. The pandemic led consumers to shop locally and rediscover their local shopping areas due to travel restrictions however, as consumers seek to manage the cost of living, they are returning to the local multi-national retailers e.g. ALDI and LIDL (often known as “glocal”), threatening the independent retail high street revival. We take a broad interpretation of “local” to reflect our international audience and seek to bring solutions for everyone – i.e. your high street, main street, city centre or indeed the local parade of shops on your urbanization. We build on important campaigns such as the Independents Day UK (2nd - 3rd July 2022) campaign to support and promote independent retail activity.

Who’s leading the event?

Dr Sarah Montano - University of Birmingham Business School 

Open to

Open to all 

Of particular interest to

Anyone interested in local retail options