Swansea stores to close as Mary Portas claims high streets are in crisis
TWO chain stores confirmed they are closing their Swansea outlets on the day a retail guru said Britain's high streets are in crisis.
A report by Mary "Queen of Shops" Portas claimed town centres are sick or dying because they have failed to adapt to modern shopping trends.
The report suggests 28 key areas for improvement including introducing a visionary, strategic and strong operational management team for high streets.
The retail guru also suggests free controlled parking schemes that work for their town centres, measures to make it easier for people to become market traders by removing unnecessary regulations and encouraging Government to look at ways business rates can better support small businesses.
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The news came as restaurant chain Pizza Hut confirmed it has closed its outlet on Kingsway in Swansea.
A spokesman for the chain said: "The lease at our Kingsway restaurant expires soon, and we took the decision to close the site."
Lingerie chain La Senza has also confirmed it will be closing its store on Oxford Street in Swansea due to poor trading.
A La Senza spokeswoman said: "The closure of the store is in line with our current strategy of closing under performing stores."
Swansea's Business Improvement District (Bid) chief executive Russell Greenslade said he was disappointed to hear of the closures but that they were a sign of the times across the UK with retailers changing their company positioning and retail offer.
Mr Greenslade said Swansea Bid is already acting on key areas suggested by Mary Portas to boost trade on British high streets.
The Bid chief executive said: "The city centre has great parking offers ongoing, has the largest indoor market in the country coupled with seasonal street markets and Swansea Bid is very much involved with a central government business rates review with one of our directors on the task group looking at it nationally."
The Welsh Government is currently carrying out a short, sharp review of business rates.
The review will consider the relative importance of the non-domestic and business rates regime as a lever for supporting economic growth.
It will also assess the implications of specific policies in relation to small business rate relief .