The future of shopping
As the dust settles on another Christmas at Loveone, I am conscious of the slightly odd season it was. There were all the usual signs that the festive season had arrived but for many retailers on the nation’s High Streets it was a tricky time.
The fortune of my own business very much mirrored the national picture that is now emerging, a strong November but a weaker December. The once predictable last minute rush didn’t transpire, I had one of the quietest Christmas Eve’s in years.
It is becoming more obvious that the way we shop and engage with our high streets is changing. One winner last year may have been Black Friday but its effects were largely felt online.
Will the discounting bubble implode? How many businesses can survive the increasing trend for heavy and frequent discounting?
As a retailer now looking ahead to the coming year my considerations become far more complex than ever before. Simply filling the shelves and waiting for the sales to come is now not enough to guarantee success in today’s retail climate.
Retailer’s now need to consider their online presence and social media reach.
Do you blog or vlog or not? Are your customers being driven by convenience or price? How important now is customer service and the personal touch? Is shopping on the high street becoming a quaint Saturday afternoon pastime that must now include coffee stops, lunch and a street market? Do you want added value to your whole experience?
Is a visit to the High Street number 3 on the list after online shopping and visiting an out of town retail park? And why? How important is the role of the high street within our community, does retail still have a place there?
These are some of the real issues facing retailers and consumers alike. Can you help fill in a few gaps?
What do you think about the future of shopping?
Rest assured I, like many retailers, are planning the year ahead and even looking forward to next Christmas. The high street is still an engaging and dynamic environment to work in. The key I guess is to remain responsive and listen to our customers and meet this challenge in more creative ways. Watch this space!
We would love to receive your views.
Please send your comments/answers to the questions that appear in this article to firstname.lastname@example.org
One lucky reader will receive a £50.00 voucher to spend in any shop or restaurant in the Saints. Responses to be sent on or before 14 February 2018 and the editor’s decision is final.