A new initiative, which sees a coalition of government, business associations and local shops come together to protect the high street and help it grow in a digital age, is set to launch this week.

Named Save The High Street, the coalition which is backed by the likes of Google, IMRG and Tech City, was established to offer support to shop keepers across the nation, to help reduce the impact of the Brexit on high street while avoiding a potential decline of shops.

In 2015 alone, 45,000 shops closed their doors for good, with 17,974 retail spaces closing compared to the 16,513 spaces opening. Save The High Street aims to ensure the UK high streets continue survive by offering advice and support to shopkeepers for free through its website SaveTheHighStreet.org.

"High Streets must change to remain relevant in the internet age, but most don’t know how to and need a lot of help," said James Roper FRSA, Chairman & Founder, IMRG, one of the initiatives backing partners. "I am pleased to see SaveTheHighStreet.org arriving to bring a centralised, substantial solution that can directly enable all local retailers to fully engage in the digital economy. For ecommerce and the digital high street to become the means to a wealthier, safer, fairer, caring culture – all of its participants need to be involved in helping shape it."

The initiative is set to officially launch this Wednesday, August 10, where it will reveal its standard, industry blueprint for successful retailing in the digital high street. The 10-pillar scheme, named the "connected digital high street manifesto" will be unveiled during an event, which will see speakers from Google Digital Garage, Future High Streets Forum and Pocket High Street, host a panel discussion concerning the Future High Streets Forum. The new movement aims to engage 125,000 retailers across the country over the next 12 months.

"In the digital age, a basic understanding of how the online world works is useful; and when it comes to business, it’s essential," added Eileen Naughton, Google’s Managing Director for UK & Ireland. "We are welcoming all attendees to attend seminars delivered by Google's Digital Garage experts and learn more about how digital can help them grow.”

"Local retail has never changed so fast. SaveTheHighStreet.org allows us to join forces as an industry and ensure our high streets thrive for generations to come," commented Alex Schlagman, CEO Pocket High Street. "Together we can democratise the strategies, technologies and opportunities in the era of the connected digital high street for every local shopkeeper."

 

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