David Kilburn talks about the retail picture in Christchurch for the BBC
18 March 2013
David Kilburn, Associate Professor in Enterprise at BU, was featured on local BBC TV and radio programmes talking about the fact that Christchurch appears to be bucking current retail trends.
Christchurch has a much lower rate of shop vacancy than anywhere else in the South, and many believe it is due to the affluent older generation who live there.
David told BBC South Today: "I think a lot of them have lived here for quite some time, they have already paid the mortgage off, they may have held quite good jobs and therefore, they have got a reasonable pension.
"So they are reasonably well-off - some very well-off - and they like to spend their money."
He also featured on BBC Radio Solent's breakfast show speaking about the issue.
As part of a live broadcast from the Dorset town on Julian Clegg's breakfast show, David said: "Certainly, Christchurch is a very dynamic town and it's very appealing to all demographics and, of course, got 'grey pound' shoppers.
"You've got more time if you're not working, but it's a recreational activity as well as the shopping."
But he added that it was not necessarily true that the older population was less likely to shop online, and so stick to the traditional high street shopping.
"I think with the older demographic, many of them really do have the time to spend learning about how to go online, so it's not that difficult, but clearly there are some people - perhaps in their 80s - who might not really go for it quite as much."
He said that other places could learn lessons from Christchurch, and recommended half price rent to fill empty shop units in areas that were having less success.
"At the end of the day, I think it's a question of having a really good mix of retail outlets, which are both either national or independent."
You can watch David on BBC South Today here
You can listen to him on on BBC Radio Solent here
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