Rossendale Free Press
Collaboration may be key to future of high street Supporting our Rossendale community
Barry Hyde – chair of the Rossendale Community Support Network
AS a consequence of COVID restrictions over the past months many businesses have had to radically change their business model in order to survive.
The old high street model has been failing for some years and the pandemic has simply accelerated the inevitable.
Many businesses have found solutions that have changed their traditional model including click and collect and delivery services.
Some have developed an effective model for the future that involves collaboration with other businesses to provide a more extensive product offer that benefits all partners involved.
Examples include wet pubs that have teamed up with a local catering business, allowing them to extend their offer to include serving meals they were previously unable to provide.
Local company Ninja Coffee modelled its business around providing quality coffee at events.
Due to the lack of events, the owner started delivering coffee to individuals and businesses and created ‘neighbourhood coffee groups’, negotiated two static sites on leisure facilities that previously had none, and is collaborating with other local businesses to extend its offer.
This new business model has actually expanded the business during a time that has been devastating for others.
The development of a Business to Business Collaborative model may be the way forward in reinventing the high street. The businesses remain independent but become part of a collective that offers far more than one business could deliver on its own.
Leisure centres and Gyms could expand their offer through collaboration with local food and drink outlets and other facilities.
What about a haircut or a facial after your workout.
Collaboration between restaurants/Cafes and product suppliers such as butchers, fishmongers, bakers and greengrocers supplying locally sourced product that would be mentioned on the menu, encouraging customers to shop at those suppliers.
This concept reinterprets the model of the high street and begins to create a Community Hub not a retail zone.
The Rossendale high street format has always had the advantage of being made up primarily of independent businesses and not reliant on chain stores.
The ideas put forward tap into that format and encourage businesses to look into mutual collaboration and develop a new model that may offer a brighter future for all stakeholders.