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Future of the high street

Smiley Talk

What does the future of UK High Streets look like? Boarded up shops and clearance sales imply change, but instead of taking a pessimist view, we’ve decided to go on a positive quest to understand the reasons behind changing behaviours, look at new habits and see if there’s a bigger picture we should be taking note of.

We will be analysing commercial practices of profit-making retailers, online stores, and community-focused charity shops against everyday needs of different groups in our communities.

Join the conversation on Thursday 21st November and get inspired by Expert Speakers sharing their vision for the future of the UK high street. Participate in our panel discussion and together lets envisage a high street that works for everyone and then do our bit to make it happen.

Our end-goal is to raise awareness of the transformative power of education and share immediate calls-to-action that speak to every part of society. This is our first Smiley TALK linked to UN Goal 4: Quality Education and we plan to continue building momentum around this conversation in 2020 by hosting similar events around the UK. Hope you will join us!

  • 5.00 – Speakers arrive for interviews
  • 5.30- 6pm – Registration opens
  • 6.00- 6.05pm- Event starts; Introduction to Smiley TALKS
  • 6:05-6:15 pm - Opening Speech by
  • 6.15- 6.25pm - Key note by
  • 6.25 -6.35pm –
  • 6:35 – 7:20pm Panel Discussion
  • 7.20- 7.30pm- Audience Q&A
  • 7.30- 8pm Workshop
  • 8.00- 8.10 Closing remarks & Calls to Action
  • 8.10 pm Networking & drinks reception
  • 9pm Event ends
Chaired by a Journalist/Economist (TBC), this is a quest to envisage what the future of UK highstreets might look like should current trends continue, outlining factors we as consumers can do to influence a more thriving highs street, and what retailers and businesses might need to do more or less of to achieve a bustling town centre. A few questions we would like Speakers to have been thinking about:
  • Is shopping about ticking items off a list or is there a greater social value attached to it?
  • What role do retailers play in the wider community?
  • What impact does a dilapidated highstreets have on youths growing up in that area?
  • Does your highstreet offer everything you need? What does it do well? what’s missing?
  • Does everyone seek the same shopping experience? (teens, millennials, parents, retired people?)
  • Do highstreets contribute to a sense of identity, pride or belonging of its locals’ residents?
  • Should social value become a trading currency on our highstreet?

We’ll be filming the event and sharing inspiring content with online audiences linked to Retail, Digital trends, social value, economy, social mobility, consumer behaviour trends etc based in other regions. Examples of videos can be found here. Should you not wish to be filmed kindly email asap.

A dedicated marketing campaign is managed by Smiley Movement across all social media channels (LinkedIn, FB, Twitter, IG), paid advertising, direct marketing via posters around London and personal approaches to target people and organisations in London.

In addition, to ensure we get the best possible representation at this event, we do kindly ask partners/speakers to help us spread the word among your networks, friends and colleagues by sharing our social media posts & inviting them to register here.

Want to continue the conversation

Neil Duffy

CEO of Retail Trust

Neil Duffy

Robin Osterley

CEO of Charity Retail Association

Robin Osterley

Robin Osterley, Chief Executive of the Charity Retail Association, the UK’s only membership association for charity shops, and frequent charity shopper

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Who is Attending (4)

Theo Coyne

Head of Marketing and Events
at Smiley Movement
  • Offers: Marketing

Christina Medici

Head of Global Partnerships
at Smiley Movement (CIC)
  • Interests: Gender Equality
  • Offers: Business Development
  • Needs: Writing & Journalism

Maksym Adyntsev

  • Interests: Affordable and clean energy
  • Needs: Human Resources

Shirley Hands

  • Interests: Good Health and Wellbeing
  • Needs: a few hours a month
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