Portas Gets Tough on Cheap Fashion
Speaking at a Leeds retailing event, Portas said that the value sector has "bastardised" good taste and "annihilated" independent retailing. She also laid into the fashion press for giving value chains style kudos – such as Primark being nick-named 'Primarni', "what bullshit" she exclaimed.
Over 200 retailers and experts gathered at The Corn Exchange in Leeds to discuss the future of fashion retailing at ‘The Business of Retail’ event. Portas expressed concern that unless steps were taken to give independents a voice and current consumer habits were changed the UK was in danger of loosing the heart and soul of independent shopping.
Leading value sector chief executives retorted that they were only “giving shoppers what they want” and that many consumers could not afford to shop in the kind of store Mary Portas shops in.
While many agreed that the high street could benefit from a ‘healthy mix’ of retailers the debate threw up other concerns such as the exorbitant costs of running a shop from a prime location to shopping habits from today’s consumers.
Whatever your views you have to respect Mary for putting the debate out there. It will be interesting to see if she’ll tackle the issue further within a TV format – Mary recently bagged a two-year contract with Channel 4 after a successful run with the BBC.