Published: 13th Dec 2011

On a sleety December day in Wakefield or Wigan, Weston-super-Mare or Wisbech, a walk down the high street amid hard-up Christmas shoppers is a long way from most people’s idea of a good time. Today Mary Portas, TV’s Queen of Shops and the retail guru appointed by David Cameron to revive our high streets, has delivered her verdict. Can our sad and declining town centres be turned around with a bit of stardust and glamour? When the news came out back in May, I was a little sceptical. So what spell did the Queen of Shops weave to make me change my mind? The starting point was that I got involved in the discussion. I contacted a few people who I knew were doing good stuff in town centres because I thought the review should listen to people who are thinking differently. I wanted the review team to understand that … (To read the full article, subscribe below)