If France has the Royer Law, Is Mary Portas enough for the UK?
Even wholesalers have holidays and I have just come back from a great family holiday in France.
There were two things which France had in abundance which appear to be in short supply in the UK and that was sunshine and Independent retailers.
Every street had dozens of small shops selling everything from food and gifts to clothes and toys. It was really refreshing to be able to walk through town centres and not see the same old shops over and over again.
It turns out that France passed what is called Royers Law in 1973 which restricts the growth of larger retailers. They have to ask for authorization if they have a retailing space larger than 1000 square meters if the town has less than 40 000 inhabitants (1 500 sqm for more than 40 000 people)
This has effectively kept the town centre from independents and very nice it felt too.
Its great that the government has recruited someone as passionate about retailing as Mary Portas but when you see the impact of legislation on France you have to ask is it really enough?Shouldn't we be looking to legislation to help our high streets disappearing?
The other point is that if we go to France to enjoy the choice and service that Independent Retailers offer shouldn't we all make an effort to keep the independent sector we have here in the UK vibrant?
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