YEP says: Why Leeds must listen to Kate Hardcastle - the high street whisperer!

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SELF-STYLED ‘CUSTOMER Whisperer’ and consumer champion Kate Hardcastle certainly speaks a lot of sense when it comes to Britain’s struggling high streets.

She is confident that they can both survive and thrive but, as she tells The Yorkshire Evening Post, people need good enough reasons to shop locally - and they need them now.

High streets need to bring people together, she says, and they need a clear identity to attract footfall.

That’s perhaps easier said than done - the temptation to fill an empty shop quickly regardless of the type of retailer going in there, must be tempting. But those making decisions for the future of high streets would do well to pay heed to the Yorkshire entrepreneur’s advice and to learn from her insight into consumer behaviour.

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After all, as a retail and commercial expert with years of experience, who has recently been recognised with a MBE for her services to business, Kate does know what she is talking about.

Shopping is a big leisure pursuit and there’s plenty of proof that money spent in local shops means hard cash back into the local economy. Those in charge of shaping the high street need to take action to protect the long-term future of the nation’s high streets - before it is too late.

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