Grimsey issues high street warning

Grimsey issues high street warning

Former Focus DIY boss Bill Grimsey has warned that over 20,000 shops on the high street face closure in the next 12 months.

The businessman, who has also been the c.e.o. of Iceland and Wickes, has made the stark warning in the foreword of the Alternative Review of the High Street, due to be launched at the House of Commons on Wednesday (4th September).

In the report, Grimsey warns that “five or six” big name stores may be at risk, along with fashion stores and small electrical chains, according to the Mirror.

“The retail industry is worth £135bn a year to the UK economy—more than the education, defence or even the health budget. And yet there is no ­minister for our high streets,” he is quoted as having written.

Grimsey is said to be calling for a high street minister to be appointed and for a cut to business rates.

Mary Portas is expected to be questioned about the progress of her Review of the High Street at a Communities and Local Government Committee meeting later today (2nd September).

Grimsey has attacked Portas’ review, saying that it “promised the earth but delivered little”.