1990s there were 875 Blockbuster Video Stores = administration 2013
1993 there were 19,953 post offices = 11,600 in 2018
Our Price (place to go for vinyl records, cassettes, CDs and DVDs = administration 2004
1997 there were 286 M&S stores = 1,025 in 2018
1995 there were 832 Woolworths = administration 2008
“This year is shaping up to be a retail bloodbath”
Toys R Us and Maplin both went into administration earlier this year and many retailers have announced expected closures. House of Fraser is shutting half its shops and they’ll also be closures for New Look, Carpetright, Monsoon, Mothercare and M&S. Homebase was sold for £1 in May.
In the first 6 months of 2018 nearly 650 retail and restaurant brands have closed on our high streets. Last year saw the closure of 5,855 stores and a report from the Centre for Retailer Research has predicted more than 10,000 will go this year.
20 years ago only 0.5% of the population had access to the internet. Compared to 2016 where 90% of UK households were online and according to research, spending £81.55 billion on internet retail.
“What will become of the high street?”
For many people in the UK, what was once the heart of their weekly shop has become a mixed collection of charity shops and empty units.
Resturants and Bars
Fashion & clothing
Card and gift shops
Furniture & textiles
Why is it changing?
We are in a digital age where you can receive packages at your front door with the click of a button meaning retailers have had to move fast to catch up with what shoppers want. Along with rent increases and rising business rates it’s clear why many shops have closed.
Some brands have adapted to the digital age and done well with it. Argos is a good example and has enjoyed multi-channel success with the introduction of things like their click-and-collect option. The shopper can make the order online at any time and then choose when to pick it up.
Something else shoppers will have noticed is the rise in the number of bookies. There are currently around 9,000 betting shops in the UK. However that number is likely to drop with the maximum stake for fixed-odds betting to decrease from £100 to £2. Apparently ‘Vape shops’ are one of the fastest growing sectors in the UK retail with 1,700 shops on the high streets.
A social future?
Things may look a little grim with the increase of boarded-up high streets but times are changing and high streets may be shifting towards a more social centre rather than a commercial centre. Less retail is leaving space for more restaurants, coffee shops, health and beauty and fitness. There is also expected to be a rise in the number of ‘showrooms’ where shoppers can see, touch and test products/goods. As more shoppers turn towards shopping online these stores will give the customers the chance to try before they buy.
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