With the ever increasing march of online sales (over £100bn in 2014*) there is a definite argument to say that the high street is dead or dying.
I guess it’s not that people have given up buying stuff. Retail sales for February 2015 compared to 2014 show a 4.7 % increase in sales within the UK. However, in-store sales over the past 4 years on have been relatively flat.
Interestingly in a recent Experian press release they suggested that the face of the high street is not disappearing, it’s simply changing. Tattoo shops and Convenience Stores are replacing the traditional video shops and Travel Agents.
Some see this exodus as an opportunity, New Look are seeing this as a chance to increase the High Street presence where once they were excluded due to high costs. Article Source: Daily Mail
The report went onto suggest that it’s the connection with the customers that’s crucial when you are looking to attract people into your store and as I have mentioned in the past, you need to maximise your window display and the internal floorspace and give them a reason to spend in-store.
Price is still important
As I guess it always has been. Mobile devices has massively increased transparency, customers really can compares prices in-store before they make their purchase so you really have to be on the button to keep your competitive edge.
One of the best stories I’ve heard recently about getting the right environment for your customers was on a recent skiing trip.
Upon entering the ski store, patrons were immediately presented with some local beers. Nothing too much, just enough to loosen inhibitions. Before too long most of the group that entered the store, where trying on kit and had their wallets out.
So setting the right environment really can help. If the high street has taught us one thing it’s – Change.
It’s a constant evolution that flow with trends and economics. Fashion within retailing, and I don’t mean just the clothes keep changing. The internet and connectivity and accelerated this recently, but if history is anything to go by, it will not stop.
*source – IMRG – the voice of e-tail