Portas blames chains – and customers' ‘love affair’ with them – for damaging High Streets

Supermarkets ‘killing’ smaller shops

Retail guru Mary Portas has blamed supermarkets for "killing" off smaller shops in the UK.

Portas, who has held key roles at Harrods, TopShop and Harvey Nichols, sounded caution over the rise of supermarkets and their extension into sectors beyond food.

Writing in the Radio Times (via BBC) Portas said: "The rise of the supermarket giants – and our love affair with them – is killing Britain’s small shops.

"But what worries me more is the seemingly unstoppable march of the supermarkets into pretty well every other product category – from fashion to financial services, homewares to hair salons, health and beauty to DIY."

While small shops often cannot compete with national chains on price, Portas said that by concentrating on other areas where they can excel:

"I’ve always summed it up in three words: service, specialism and connectivity – to their local communities – and if they work with each other to create High Streets we want to visit, they’ll be stronger."

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