It’s Christmas! Not on the high


In the run-up to Christmas the ever increasing trend in the Retail sector for online purchases appears to be having a detrimental effect on our high streets.

It is reported that 14 shops are closing in Britain's top 500 town centres every day and four of these are in Greater London alone. So with many retailers floundering, the Christmas lights are going to look a little sad this year.

With many products and services being bought online, even where there has been heightened footfall in to shops, it has been to check-out the merchandise and buy it later and likely cheaper, online.

Seasonal hikes have traditionally helped retailers to even out the peaks and troughs of an inclement retail climate, but this trend appears to be here for the longer term.

With this in mind, it pays to have both strategic and pragmatic plans in place to weather any storm and move with the times.

And there are new openings, particularly in the 'experiential' area, but not enough to stem the flow from the high street. Nevertheless, from our experience of being long time accountant to both online and high street retailers there are successes and those successes can be maintained and sustained.

That sustenance, however, will need retailers perhaps taking bold decisions to keep customers onside in the first instance, so as to maximise profitability in the long term.

The high street is far from dead but it is evolving.

We are likely to see the shops of today become the showrooms of tomorrow and replicate the online experience, rather than the other way around. Retailers need to ensure that their stores remain relevant and consumers want to keep coming back to them.

Experience is more important than ever, and stores need to be more than just places to view or purchase. The savvy, experiential shopper will go out to see, touch and experience, but unless the experience and offer is compelling, they will go home and buy elsewhere online. The retailer's values need to be evident in that experience and to mirror those of the customer and from these will come vocal advocates and brand loyalty.

At GSM we have a proven approach for defying the high street downturn, turning around retailers who might be struggling with a business model that is not fit for purpose in a digital age. Here's a video to share of a case in point…

To turn on your Chrismas lights contact us today on 020 7935 3793 or email: