From Brick to Click.

Posted: October 18, 2013 in This is the Voice of Lefty Reason

Strainsview had the pleasure of attending a talk by Matthew Hopkinson last week.  The business he runs, the Local Data Company, advises retailers and local councils on what is happening in their town centres and how they can respond to the ever growing Internet retail market.  Parochial British towns, once thriving market based economies, increasingly resemble post-disaster zones.  They are full of empty units and shops and every third seems to be a charity shop or a bookmaker.  In some Northern towns the occupancy rate is down to 33% as retailers high tail it to online emporiums or out of town motor-malls.  The shops that are left are becoming victims  to “showrooming” whereby tech-savvy consumers scan barcodes on their smart phones to price-compare before ordering the goods online.  Matthew reckons that the high street may survive but it will be in a very different form; customers will be sold an “experience” as much as they are sold goods.  Senses will be primed with smells, music and colours; retail as pure leisure rather than pure selling.  You better enjoy the coming remake of “Open all Hours”,  Arkwright and his ilk are a dying breed.


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