Boost for high street businesses

Government announces plans to make it easier for shops to set up click and collect facilities.

Government announces plans to make it easier for shops to set up click and collect facilities. - Credit: Archant

A NEW Government proposal could give businesses in North Somerset a boost and provide customers with a wider choice of products in the high street.

The plans will enable shops to build new click and collect facilities, without the need for planning permission.

Retailers can build covered collection points or lockers and install new loading bay doors and ramps without applying for consent.

Figures show UK customers are the biggest users of click and collect services, with 35 per cent of online shoppers taking advantage of them.

The Government hopes the plans will enable British high streets to adapt to meet the changing demands of shoppers, who are increasingly choosing to shop on the internet.

Janet Hendey, chairman of Nailsea’s Chamber of Trade, said: “This will definitely benefit a place like Nailsea where the outlets are only small but customers would have access to a wider range of products online and could pick up orders locally.

“In Nailsea we also have the added advantage of free parking, which will attract people to the town.”

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A number of stores, such as Waitrose, WHSmith, Boots and New Look already enable people to order products online and collect them in store, but the proposal will help smaller, independent stores to follow suit.

Anthony Lingham, who opened up Nailsea Shoe Shop earlier this year with his partner Victoria Gasper, is now hoping to offer their customers a click and collect service.

He said: “This will allow us to change how the high street is currently perceived and help toward the revival of local towns.

“We as retailers need to ensure we are doing our bit to keep the Great British high street alive and to meet the changing needs of today’s modern customer.”

The plans are one of a range of measures the Government is taking to support the revival of high streets across the country which are fighting to survive against internet stores and out-of-town shopping centres.