The shop is not dead

Much has been discussed about the death of the high street. Retail pundits have been de-crying its ill health for many decades. And whilst it is true that their has been a gradual slow painfully illness – I’m just not sure that it’s eventually demise will ever be realised.

The World Retail Congress surveyed many top executives about the importance of their physical shops. The results revealed the inner thinking of the industries major players.

It appears that 2/3rds of senior management believe that actual shops are still the favoured way of connecting with their customer base. Just less than half of the management polled believe that their stores will account for more than half of their sales growth.

To me this seems that the importance of connecting – not just the digital kind is what helps customer identify with your brand and the ‘stuff’ you sell.

Place this in the context of still challenging economic and consumer confidence conditions and retailers can’t rest on their laurels.

With this in mind there is the obvious knock on conditions for retail investment.

With this in mind Wire Fittings have developed a new range of display stands that are aimed at providing value based stands at a price that is more affordable.

To achieve this we have explored variations in the materials of the stands. So we are introducing, wood, acrylic and backing boards.

The product ranges include; new counter and a floor magnet display, wall racks and individual pockets for leaflets and brochures.

Survey reveals string demand for physical shops

A recent survey by the World Retail Congress suggested that for many retailers continued sales growth was dependent upon their physical shops.

Despite the astounding growth of online and mobile the survey reveals that 2/3rds of senior management believe that actual shops are still the favoured way of connecting with their customer base. Just less than half of the management polled believe that their stores will account for more than half of their sales growth.

Buy why is that?

It seems obvious to me and I have commented on this before, that the ability to touch and feel your products still lies at the core of many shoppers joy for shopping.

Shopping is also an experience. Meeting up with friends and family, going for a coffee, wandering round different shops at your own pace, just can’t be replicated online.

Many ‘physical’ retailers work hard to create a ‘wow’ experience for their customers. That might mean saying ‘hi’, or ‘have a nice day’ at the door of the shop. Or in the case of a shopper in a US grocery store, an assistant spotted that a customer had some going off fruit in her basket and then went to replace them for her. Wow indeed.

Now you can’t get that kind of service online. And whilst you might expect all your bought items to arrive in perfect conditions. Some they don’t. And when that happens there is no shopping assistant ready.

It’s seems entirely obvious that the internet has brought a de-personalisation of the shopping experience. That works sometimes but not always.
For me the internet is excellent at tracking down the latest deals, however, customer loyalty is very tricky to get right in front of a computer screen – it really needs to be done face-to-face.