By Daniel Hunter
One in five high street shops will close over the next five years according to a new survey.
The Centre for Retail Research is warning that 20% of stores could disappear altogether from UK high streets as more people turn to shopping online. The report says that retailers selling music, books, gifts and DIY are in the most danger of closure.
Meanwhile, the report predicts that the proportion of shopping done on the internet will double to 22%.
Dan Wagner, CEO of Powa Technologies, who has created dynamic eCommerce technology solutions for high street names such as Tesco, Superdrug, Laura Ashley and Heal’s, believes this is a much needed wake-up call.
"This will be a wakeup call for many retailers that are sleep-walking into turmoil," he said.
"We have already seen many established names go into administration this year alone, many of which because they haven’t done anything significant to acknowledge the change in how their customers are engaging with brands. Merely paying lip-service to online won’t cut the mustard with retail becoming hugely competitive. Instead, stores need to revolutionise both their online and high street offerings so that both can feed each other much more seamlessly.
“Forward thinking high street stores are treating the current sea-change in shopping as an opportunity to overhaul the way they do business. Instead of mourning the demise of our favourite stores, there should be a more concerted effort to save them using new approaches, not just aggressive discounting.”
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