The Economic Affairs Scrutiny Panel is reviewing retail policy in Jersey and exploring the challenges and opportunities local retailers face.
As well as the main shopping area of St. Helier, the Panel is looking at out-of-town retail areas including St. John’s Village and Les Quennevais Precinct.
A review of Retail Policy was undertaken by a previous Economic Affairs Scrutiny Panel in 2014 (S.R.6/2014). The Panel’s review focussed on examining the policies and actions of the Minister for Economic Development towards the retail sector. Some of the key themes arising from this review were:
- That the Minister, as a priority, should engage with retailers in a structured manner to work on some immediate initiatives, and underpin future plans through a new, more relevant comprehensive overarching Retail Strategy.
- Online competition represents the most significant challenge to Jersey’s “high street” retailers.
- Other challenges faced include issues around the uneven playing field for local retailers against off-island online competition, disproportionate and/or long planning processes, unnecessary red tape and numerous parking constraints.
- Maximising the physical attraction and the ease of moving through town were identified as important means of encouraging people to choose to shop locally.
The Panel will be following up on the accepted recommendations made in the previous review in order to assess what progress has been made in this area. The Panel is seeking evidence from retailers, the public and stakeholders on this issue and encourages people to write in with their comments [details below].
Deputy Kirsten Morel, Chair of the Panel, said: “We often see news stories about the struggling retail sector in Jersey and we want to explore why that is. Is it because of high rents, parking difficulties or an increase in people turning to online shopping? Our review will explore all of these issues and our findings, with recommendations, will be published within the next few months.”
Written submissions can be sent via email to email@example.com or by letter to: The Scrutiny Office, Morier House, Halkett Place, St. Helier, JE1 1DD