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As soon as the Christmas festivities are over, a campaign is set to be launched in Yorkshire with the nickname of “UK capital of empty shops”. Although the region is well known for popular shopping centres like Meadowhall and White Rose, statistics show that a large proportion of commercial properties are standing empty in town centres.

The consumer specialist who is responsible for The Town Centre Rejuvenation campaign, Kate Hardcastle has used information collated by the British Retail Consortium and DirectGov to organise her campaign. Worryingly, the statistics reveal that 14.3 percent of shops are standing empty nationally, but the figure for Bradford increases to 18 percent.

The Town Centre Rejuvenation campaign will focus on eight Yorkshire city centres using a formula which is based on some of the TV shows which help restaurants and hotels that are struggling. Hardcastle has put together a team of retail specialists who will give advice on the benefits of a central shop, rather than buying online or a mall, all free of charge. The campaign was rolled out as a pilot scheme in Huddersfield earlier in the year. Hardcastle said:

“The project is based on what we call ‘retail theatre’. It’s about making businesses stand out, understanding what the consumer wants, how you can appeal to them and also show them how you’re meeting their needs.”

Hardcastle says that the main area to focus on is customer service and better products. She hopes that will rejuvenate the city centres of the UK.

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