Business News

Sponsored by: King Solomon International Business School

Shop closures mean the high-street must evolve

High-streets across the West Midlands have experienced the largest fall in the number of shops for the last five years, according to research from PwC. The report, compiled by the

Year 10 pupils, Claire Piotrowski, (Future Talent manager, Kuehne+Nagel) and Andy Page (Game designer)

Shaping the next generation

It is important that ‘Logistics and Supply Chains’ becomes a career of choice rather than a fortunate accident. This requires those businesses and organisations in the sector to connect with young people. King Solomon International

Business School in Birmingham is very grateful to both Kuehne + Nagel and the Rail Freight Group for their generous donation of the educational game ‘Business on the Move’. The game was first launched in 2014 and encourages youth engagement in global supply chains and logistics, while simultaneously challenging pre-conceived notions and fostering greater gender diversity in the industry. This is, of course, true of all

industries and sectors. One of the most effective ways to ensure sustainability is to capture the minds of the younger generation who will one day become our country’s workforce. King Solomon International Business School would like to encourage all business to engage with the schools in their communities, as it can lead to the forging of invaluable partnerships and see clear mutual benefits for both parties. If you are a business owner,

please consider work experience placements and what can you do to help shape the next generation of your workforce.

To know more or register your interest please contact us on Visit:


Local Data Company (LDC), found a net loss of 188 stores in 2018 as only 287 shops opened, compared to 475 closures recorded that year. The net loss of shops on high-

streets, retail parks and shopping centres was at the highest for five years at 188, growing from 153 in 2014, 19 in 2015, 60 in 2016 and 144 in 2017. The analysis tracked 5,272 outlets

operated by multiple retailers in 33 town centres across the region. Birmingham experienced the

highest net loss in the region with 23 stores, 61 openings and 84 closures. Harborne and Evesham were the

only areas to see a net growth of one and two stores respectively. Elsewhere in the region,

Tamworth had a net loss of 11 stores, three openings and 14 closures, Rugby had a net loss of nine stores, seven openings and 16 closures, Wolverhampton saw a net loss of eight stores, 21 openings and 29 closures, Solihull had a net loss of eight shops, 10 openings and 18 closures, and Dudley a net

Turbulent year: Andy Lyon

‘We are seeing the high-street evolve into an experiential destination’

loss of seven shops, three openings and 10 closures. In the West Midlands some parts

of the high street were thriving, with health clubs, pet shops and pet supplies, and Indian takeaways opening a number of new premises. There was a fall in the number of

banks and financial institutions, charity shops and mobile phone shops. Andy Lyon, retail and consumer markets leader for PwC in the

Laudina joins the tax team at Cooper Parry

Cooper Parry have recruited an R&D tax manager to their Birmingham team.

Laudina Duffus has joined the Midlands accountants after working at

KPMG for three years in innovation reliefs and incentives. With this experience and her degree in chemical engineering, she brings more technical expertise and specialist sector knowledge to the ever- growing team. Laudina (pictured) said: “I joined the Cooper

Parry R&D team because they’re ambitious, they’re growing fast, the people are great, and I love the company’s mission, values and culture. “I’ve always been based in the Midlands, and I’m

looking forward to helping local businesses to keep growing and innovating. Especially the smaller clients – they’re the people that benefit more from the tax relief, and they’re the places where the impacts of my work are really visible”. Chris Knott, tax partner and head of R&D said: “Laudina’s got razor

sharp intellect, and she’s adding more technical knowledge and experience to our team. “She’s a perfect fit for Cooper Parry R&D. She’ll live and breathe our

family values, and she’s great with clients which will help enhance the first-class service we deliver. “Attracting someone of Laudina’s calibre into the team, and our

continued recruitment from the Big 4, shows we’re now firmly established as the number one R&D advisors in the Midlands.”

Midlands, said: “It’s clear that 2018 was a turbulent year for retailers. “Coupled with the growth in

online and high occupancy costs impacted by business rates, retailers are facing some of the biggest challenges to hit the high street as we see closures hit record levels. “There is still an important role

for the high-street to play, as it secures a sustainable future to support online and leisure activity. “We are seeing the high-street

evolve into an experiential destination, be it through leisure experiences, or retailers restructuring their physical space to support online activity by showcasing products, and attracting footfall through parcel collection and returns facilitation. “The West Midlands continues to

see significant investment in infrastructure and connectivity with the likes of HS2, Metro extension and the 5G test-bed continuing to put the region at the heart of the UK. “Coupled with major events like

Coventry City of Culture 2021 and Commonwealth Games 2022 the region is attracting growing visitor numbers, and we hope to see a knock-on effect to the high-street.”

• More retail stories – Page 82

Choose your musical for city film festival

The biggest musical blockbusters will be on the big screen at this year’s Brindley Film Festival, as voting is now officially open for the shortlist. Now in its eighth year, the

popular outdoor Film Festival will take place in Central Square from 15 to 21 July. Voting is now live and the public will choose which of their favourite music-themed movies they want to see. Contenders include ‘Singing in

the Rain’ and ‘West Side Story’, recent big screen smashes such as ‘A Star is Born’ and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, and Disney favourites ‘The Little Mermaid’, ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and ‘Mary Poppins Returns’. Voting closes on 7 May. This year’s Film Festival is being

held in partnership with charity Sense, who will be fundraising throughout the event, hosting various activities across the estate.

To cast a vote, go to film-festival

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