High Street Strategy

Executive Summary

From our research, we are led to believe that such a strategy can only succeed, if it is community led in partnership with the local Council. This Strategy adopts a methodical approach to revitalising Chesham High Street (for the purposes of this document the High Street is defined as the main shopping street, adjacent yards and surrounding retail areas). It has at its heart the need to build consensus and to encourage the whole town to engage with the plan and its associated activities.

It has been written by Chesham Connect, the revitalisation group for Chesham and Greater Chesham, which works to support and encourage community interest and charity groups that develop and improve the local area.

Within this document the vision, motivation and core beliefs of Chesham Connect are considered, as is their capacity to implement the objectives of this plan.  In line with the aims of Chesham Connect we will work in partnership with other groups and organisations with similar aims.   

‘I’ll willingly take part but not in the format you offer. It’s a road to nowhere.  Time to get real!’

The strategy takes as its starting point the many positive attributes of Chesham not least the proximity to the Underground Station and the presence of a significant number of independent retailers, but also considers the negative aspects of the High Street and how these might be addressed.

This strategy is based on previous work carried out with a cross section of Chesham people in March 2019. It included a SWOT and PEST analysis and the strategy builds on this work. It has been strengthened enormously by input from a brand consultant and also by the feedback we received to our draft strategy issued in February 2020. Several soundbites from the feedback, both positive and negative, are included in this document in red text. In addition, Chesham Connect has carried out market analysis, including industrial competitor analysis.  This document sets goals and measurable objectives but most importantly sets a realistic time frame of 3 – 5 years and is fluid in stating that priorities will change with new information and opportunities.

Whilst acknowledging that a marketing plan can have up to ’13 Ps’, Chesham Connect has restricted itself to the traditional ‘4 Ps’ i.e. Product; Price; Promotion and Place. The strategy assesses the potential market and subdivides it, seeking the closest and most easily obtained, before looking to extend into new and untapped markets. It is by identifying these markets that a more focused approach can be implemented.

‘Overall, I like the thinking behind the strategy which captures what the majority of people believe about Chesham.’

This strategy can only be deemed successful if there are clear targets against which it can be measured. These are known as Key Performance Indicators or KPIs. They also serve to keep those implementing the strategy to continually review their actions to ensure that they are producing meaningful results. Finally, this strategy identifies the outcomes that it intends to achieve and the final measure of the success of this strategy.

The Covid 19 pandemic has changed the face of the UK High Street between the writing of the draft strategy and this final version and therefore it will inevitably impact on what we are able to do and when we will be able to do it. For the purposes of this strategy, once agreed, we will re-consider our priorities and the timetable.

‘Watch out that this includes a lot of words rather than visible actions’

We are very grateful to everyone who took the time and trouble to offer feedback on the draft strategy, some of it appears in the text verbatim, some has resulted in amendments to the original text and some we have included as soundbites, to give a flavour of the comments that we received. Thank you all.

‘I hope these comments give some food for thought, because I thought the public really valued their High Street.’

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