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Businesses invited to join York Retail Forum
YORK retailers are being invited to join the city’s dedicated forum as the group formally adopts its first constitution after ten years.
At its latest meeting the York Retail Forum formally set out its written aims and elected a committee, tasked with growing the 80 plus businesses they represent.
Frank Wood, Forum chairman, said: “The York Retail Forum is open to any retailer in the city centre, free to join and has more than 80 businesses represented at the moment.
“Its role is primarily to improve, promote and support the interest of retail businesses in the centre of York on matters concerning retail trade.”
The forum is working to tackle challenges faced by retailers including out-of-town shopping, internet commerce, rising business rates and increasing parking charges.
As well as looking to develop a strategy to mitigate the effect of these challenges, the forum also aims to “help to improve conditions, facilities and services for retailers and their customers, drive greater sustainability in the city centre, and represent the views of retailers with one voice”.
Mr Wood said: “The retail sector is under fire, and crossing its fingers and hoping for a turnaround is not going to be a successful strategy. Nor is working individually as businesses.
“The city-centre retailers must come together, adapt to conditions and maximise the opportunities available.
“It is with this in mind that a more formalised Retail Forum has begun to look at how retailers working together can affect the changes required.”
The forum regularly meets City of York Council regarding issues of infrastructure and promotion and last year, inspired by the Portas Review of High Streets, it helped to open up the Retail Strategy Group to a wider group of organisations, which has become known as the City Team.
With the City Team working on a wider remit than retail, York Retail Forum set about making itself more democratically representative of its members in a bid to ensure that retailers aims were recognised, understood and met.
The new committee of nine members is made up of representatives from R.A. Braithwaite Jewellers, Marks & Spencer, Fifty50 Hair Design, HSBC, WH Smith, Burgins Perfumery, Mulberry Hall, Betty’s and TopShop.
York Retail Forum is open to all. For information or to attend the next meeting on October 17, email firstname.lastname@example.org
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