A useful article today, for those thinking of starting a independent shop. Now could be the time to take advantage of the many High St. retail vacancies, in order to get a nice site at a nice rent, or to “give it a try” on a short lease. On the factor of parking, I’d also suggest taking into account price and capacity — research shows that 69% of people in the UK avoid a town or location, if the parking there is deemed too expensive. Niche retail units associated with a heritage or leisure attraction may also be worth considering, especially for high-quality arts/crafts. One could also consider Tupperware-style in-home ‘party sales events’, where the shop effectively comes to you in your own home.

Also look at transport other than cars; bicycle routes, long-distance footpaths, canals, rail station, etc, and see if their tourist traffic could be enticed to your shop. For instance, it’s said that some 8,000 holiday narrowboats come through Stoke-on-Trent each year on the canals, and yet there’s almost no direct ‘waterside retail’ offer for them other than one chain pub and a calor-gas sales place. And that’s not to mention all the cyclists and walkers on the National Cycle Path No.5, which runs along the towpath.