Award-winning retailers who focus on tomorrow’s issues must provide a way forward for the NFRN, Scotland president Gail Winfield said at its annual conference this week.
“We need to revitalise local stores. We know that people like local shops but we need to be alert to the trends, to stock what they want to buy,” she said, mentioning entrepreneurs including Shahid Razzaq and Ferhan Ashiq.
Meanwhile, guest speaker Lord Thurso, chairman of Visit Scotland, said he wanted more support from NFRN members to attract visitors to the country.
“In a world where more people shop more often using algorithms and smartphones, local retailers provide much-needed human contact,” he said.
Tourism was about attracting high-spending visitors to spend money locally, he added, linking this to retailers’ desire to attract footfall.
Jim Maitlan, from the Aberdeen branch, said one of the NFRN’s jobs was to help identify new business opportunities to replace categories in decline.
Insiders praised Mrs Winfield for an excellent year in which the federation has won the ears of decision-makers in Edinburgh and London.
“She has reset the way we run things,” said one. “She’s put the right people in the right jobs and let them get on with it.”
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