Leeds high street must work together to compete with online sales, says business chief

Every sector in Leeds needs to pull together to compete with online sales, LeedsBID chief executive Andrew Cooper said.

Sunday, 11th April 2021, 11:45 am

The pandemic has accelerated the shift towards digital shopping, with many customers opting for next day deliveries rather than visiting the high street - even before coronavirus.

Mr Cooper said: “The pandemic has been a catalyst for businesses which are not as digitally-savvy to come up to speed, introducing things like contactless payments or click-and-collect services that weren’t there before.

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Despite a shift towards online shopping and the closure of stores like Debenhams - there is still 'a desire for people to meet up in Leeds'

“If you’re digitally native, there’s more adaptability there.

“But some businesses were not set up in the digital age and have struggled over the years, pre-pandemic, to adapt to that.”

Despite a shift towards online shopping, there is still a desire for people to meet up in Leeds and enjoy all the city centre has to offer, Mr Cooper said.

LeedsBID supports businesses in improving their digital presence and Mr Cooper said collaboration between different sectors was key to saving the high street.

LeedsBID chief executive Andrew Cooper

He added: “It’s about adaptability as behaviours change. With the onslaught of online, you can’t just rely on one sector.

“Retail is part of the offering, but it’s the leisure, the experience, the museums and the other things around it that gives Leeds that stronger offer."

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