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“Blind we are, if creation of this clone army we could not see.” George Lucas'

By Richard Bent, Claire Seaman, Stuart Graham and Mauricio Silva


The ‘decline’ and ‘cloning’ of the traditional high street coupled with the demise of the ‘small’ retailer is often cited as a negative aspect of modern society and even regarded as a causal factor supporting many of societies current ills. This paper challenges that assertion, arguing that our view of the traditional high street is often seen through ‘rose tinted spectacles’ and that in order to improve and proceed we should question the ‘traditional’ view of the independent high street operator. The paper argues that in order for the high street to develop and provide new and innovative outlets amongst the large scale chains a better form of knowledge transfer, business development and support needs to be developed. The team firstly look at the process of knowledge transfer within the small and often family run business environment. It then introduces the Edinburgh Hedge Model which is designed to illustrate the barriers and issues to engagement and business development from the process of transferring knowledge and learning to and from the independent/small business. The paper concludes by considering suggestions for further developments that would support and improve engagement, enhancing the business/high street proposition and the development of strong sustainable and varied businesses

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