Our beloved high street, home to hundreds of our favourite shops eagerly waiting to gratefully accept our hard earned pennies. Once a place full to the brim with new brands, expanding shopping centers and happy shoppers, is now a place in rapid decline.
Just 13 years ago, the UK government released end of year financial statements that spoke proudly of how the UK economy is booming thanks to our ever-expanding high street. Britain had seen record retails sales, spurring much growth, but growth, which unfortunately was bound to fall, sooner rather than later.
With the introduction of the internet to most homes in the mid 90’s and the even more damaging release of smart phones and tablets, shopping is now easier and more convenient than ever. Statistics by the Financial times released in 2011 stated that 6 of every 10 people over the age of 17, had shopped online at least once. The paper went on to predict these figures would be closer to 9 out of 10 before the year 2020.
While shoppers benefit from 24/7 access, comfortable and private browsing in the luxury of their own surroundings, and a wealth of information about products, that would often not exist in high street stores. Shops benefit greatly from much MUCH lower overheads.
At the point of closure, Woolworths (One of the UK’s most treasured shops for over 50 years) had over 100 shops nationwide which were closed. This unfortunately put over 2,000 people of work.
Woolsworths however have managed to survive online, rebranding and
re-launching shortly after their collapse, trimming their overhead costs down to just 2% of their previous expenditure and releasing their brand online. The site is now one of the most popular E-commerce stores in the UK, not only increasing Woolsworth’s income, but more importantly their profit.
With lower overheads, retailers and high street businesses as a whole can afford to lower prices and create irresistible sales, which shoppers will find hard to turn down.
One big tick for online sales from punters and brands.
However, don’t be fooled, it isn’t just retailers that are struggling with the more traditional bricks and mortar approach, travel agencies have also been hit hard. With statistics in 2013 showing, 85% of UK holidaymakers now use the internet as their first port of call, when searching for a holiday. No wonder over 70% of travel agencies have closed down over the last 10 years.
As we exit the most recent economic down turn, rental prices for shops in the UK are set to rise, bringing even more misery to high street retailers.
However, all is not lost. Lower your overheads and increase your customer base, by investing in an e-commerce site online. Get in touch with Cude Design for further details.