Working in retail doesn't make you uneducated or unambitious. Just because someone spends their day in a shop rather than an office, a classroom, a courtroom, a hospital, a museum, a library, or a lecture theatre doesn't mean they are incapable of working in any of these places, they have just chosen not to.
I believe it is vital that the tasks of setting rates and reliefs, and deciding how to spend them are devolved to local and regional levels of government. This would give people a democratic say in which types of businesses they want to encourage and how the receipts are spent, allowing them to witness the resultant effect in their own, and neighbouring, areas.
Business is strongest is when it's face-to-face with customers and the beautiful products can be displayed physically in an alluring way. I regularly tell retailers who moan about the web to work out how to compete effectively instead. Innovators in top up grocery shopping, web purchase collection and so on, understand that the future is omni-channel and are making money. Grenson shows us how a perfect customer experience makes people feel special and gets them buying. And everybody please remember, you can't get your hair done, grab a quick drink when you fancy it, have your shoes mended, collect your prescription or dry cleaning quickly on the web (yet).
Fictional American universities, generic sports teams, and punk bands that thrived three generations ago; these are the sort of things that should be on teenagers' t-shirts. So when fashion retailers try to elevate off-the-shelf edginess to silly new levels, you suddenly remember that it's idiotic adults who are in charge.
With a lot of our rail infrastructure and most of Somerset under water, not to mention water levels continuing to rise across Britain it is fair to say we are in the midst of a national crisis. He might not be in the top ten list of people I love in retail, but when former Tesco CEO Terry Leahy spoke about the occasional difficulties brands have - from local service problems to major outage and inconvenience - his catchphrase was "never waste a good crisis". It stuck with me and comes to mind now; not least because I love a paradox. The idea of a major problem being an opportunity is a tough one for executives to grasp whilst it's all happening.
'Bulimic' spenders -purchase only to rush back to the shops, guilt-stricken to return what they've bought, once they realise they can't afford it or that it's not actually going to give them the lifestyle they want. Although their 'reverse shopping' habit keeps their finances under control they expose themselves to high stress levels and feelings of self-loathing.
Today's shoppers are seeking a unique experience and by combining their local high street with popular shopping channels like mobile, we can continue to build support for independent retailers. That way they can not only lead the high street recovery, but succeed so that their retail sales are completely unquestionable.