Skip to content

History and manifesto

The Future of the High Street launch event is a coordinated industry-wide initiative supporting high streets across the UK. In August 2016 experts and high street champions gathered to launch the movement. The video of that event is here.

The High Street Manifesto

In August 2016 we released a manifesto. It communicated our vision of the future and how we can achieve it together. It focused our research and campaigns that engaged over 20,000 high street businesses and supporters in 2017 alone. It started a movement.

The Connected Digital High Street Manifesto is a shared declaration of our intent to ensure that local shopkeepers and our local retail economy can thrive for generations to come.

It has been co-created by partners across the community and forms the basis for an ongoing campaign to support and empower every local shopkeeper nationwide.

The high street today

We are a nation of shopkeepers

Hundreds of thousands of local UK businesses are in the middle of the most transformational period in the history of retailing.

Being a local shopkeeper today takes guts. Many of us are struggling. Some are no longer with us. The high street as we know it is under threat.

The growth of e-commerce has shifted the retail industry’s power base from the high street to out-of-town warehouses and software in the cloud, creating fortunes for some and disrupting the livelihoods of many others.

The future of our entire industry seems uncertain. Some say the high street is in decline … even dying.

We are not willing to accept that! We know our customers want to shop local. We know that in important ways online-only shopping can never replace the local, human, real world shopping experiences.

Our customers’ expectations are higher than ever and their options have multiplied as they spend more of their lives, their time and their money online.

We must find ways to merge the strengths of local and digital commerce. We must find strength as a group. A better-connected digitally enabled high street needs to emerge.

We need to act now and create a brighter future.

The high street tomorrow

A local high street thriving for generations to come where local shopkeepers focus more on expanding ambitiously and less on fighting for survival.

  1. A world where the opportunities available to the biggest retailers are accessible and affordable for every local shopkeeper.
  2. A world where the internet enables local shops to remain competitive rather than a force for disruption.
  3. A world where the benefits of digital commerce can be harnessed by any local shop in ways only a bricks and mortar store on the high street can.
  4. A world where it’s clear what to do next in this rapidly changing world and why.
  5. A world where the organisations and individuals who can and want to help, do so in a coordinated and substantial way.
  6. A world of local and online, rather than local or online; bringing customers to the local high street and the local high street to customers.
  7. A world where local shops remain a central part of the shopping journey.

This is a future where local shopkeepers prosper with the support of the community in building a better-connected, digitally enabled high street of tomorrow, and building it today.

The Connected Digital High Street will enable all of this. This future begins now!

The path ahead

The blueprint for this brighter, better-connected, digitally enabled high street future has 10 pillars.

  1. Data
    Every local shop will understand and optimise their business through actionable real-time insight on inventory, customers, suppliers, the market and more.
  2. Discovery
    Every local shop and anything in stock will be discoverable at scale to new potential customers around the corner, and around the world.
  3. Fulfilment
    Every local shop will be able to fulfil any demand for their products through best in class click & collect, on demand local delivery and shipping to anywhere.
  4. Experience
    Every local shop will keep pace with changing customer expectations, engaging and delighting local shoppers in the connected store of the future.
  5. Product
    Every local shop will have the tools and insight to optimise what to stock, where, when and from whom.
  6. Brand
    Every local shop will have a clear brand identity that’s presented, promoted and managed locally and digitally.
  7. Loyalty
    Every local shop will connect with customers across channels in personalised, meaningful ways; driving footfall, engagement, sharing and increasing each customer’s lifetime value.
  8. Team
    Every local shopkeeper will have access to the best tools and best practices to identify, recruit, manage, train, assess, pay, incentivise and retain the team of the future.
  9. Money
    Every local shop will benefit from innovations in financial technology that are changing the way we connect to sources of capital, take payments, manage accounts, bank, secure ourselves from fraud and make financial decisions.
  10. Community
    Every local shop will have access to all the local, public sector and industry specific organisations that can help most; increasing our voice on the key issues that affect us all and working together to make a stronger high street economy the reality.

Within each of the 10-pillars there are a number of specific opportunities you can benefit from.

We will help you find your ideal path ahead and break down the barriers to achieving it.

We will help you find your ideal path ahead.

  • Insight into the different opportunities within each pillar
  • Training and support, online and at events nationwide
  • Recommended priorities for you from getting the foundations in place to cutting-edge innovation

We will break down the barriers to achieving it

  • Exclusive opportunities and offers to make and save you money
  • Training and support, online and at events nationwide
  • Leveraging the combined buying, sharing and lobbying power of the group to level the playing field like never before

    The partners is a coordinated industry movement to support and empower every local shopkeeper nationwide.

We are a diverse and fast growing community across sectors. We are shopkeepers. We are government stakeholders. We are media. We are innovators. We are suppliers. We are business associations. We are a cross-section of the local high street economy.

We have shared purpose, aligned incentives and common missions.

A thriving local retail economy benefits us all and we are willing to fight to make it a future reality.

We can all benefit from the movement and have the opportunity to play a role.

What’s next?

Click here to join

Click here to see High Street Manifesto 2018.

The more of us who join, the stronger we all become and the faster we can accelerate towards a more sustainable, better connected and digitally enabled high street. #SaveTheHighStreet