debenhams high streetThe UK high street is “alive and well” according to Debenhams boss Michael Sharp.

As he announces plans to open nine new department stores across the country, he is clearly sending a signal to the rest of the high street that the future is bright.

News of the demise of the high street has been much exaggerated then?

Research submitted by the Association of Convenience Stores last month showed that for every town centre development in the pipeline, there was four times as much development scheduled for out-of-town centres.

This is an alarming figure but the faith of key figures such as Mr Sharp in the high street is likely to have a positive top-down effect both on the confidence of shoppers and of other business owners, such as yourselves, to invest in their businesses.

Alongside the new shops, Mr Sharp also announced the refurbishment and modernisation of a further 20 stores. While many around you tighten their belts in preparation for a long winter, perhaps now is the time to think about investing in your shop, and yourself?