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8 Monday, September 16, 2019 12:58

Separating Hype From Reality: Why There Is No Retail Apocalypse

Bear with me, I need to get something off my chest:THERE IS NO RETAIL APOCALYPSE. Ah, that feels better. Now, in the week when yet more headlines are hysterically screaming the polar opposite, this might appear an overly-optimistic claim. But its true. And to find the answer we need to dig a little deeper than merely scratching the surface.

Retail apocalypse, death of the high street - Im sure you are as fed up as I am with hearing and reading about them as if the entire retail industry is about to fold and slide inexorably beneath the waves.Or if it isnt the doom-mongers, its the buzzword bonanza which seems to have taken on a life of its own and sparked an entire industry.

Omnichannel, experiential, frictionless, and my personal favorite: phygital. Holy mother of.....where did THAT come from?It can really get quite depressing, which is why, every now and then, a small dose of reality is needed. In other words, separating the hype from the reality and in the process uncovering what is really going on in retail.

The Biggest DisruptorI know what youre thinking, Amazon, right? Well, Im here to tell you that you are the biggest disruptor. And by that I mean all of us. We, as consumers, are the biggest disruptor.The pace of retail innovation is rapidly falling behind consumer expectationsAndrew BusbyJust stop and think about your own shopping habits compared to just ten years ago.

My guess is that they have changed, in some cases, quite profoundly. And not only that, but our expectations have changed beyond all recognition. Where once we might have accepted mediocre as just part of the shopping experience, now we simply reject it out of hand.This rapid shift has left many retailers blindsided and is just one of the reasons for the evolution of the high street.

The High Street Is EvolvingWhich brings me nicely on to one of the most hotly debated topics in retail: the death of the high street. This is, of course, nonsense. Granted, if you walk down most high streets or through shopping malls, you will see shuttered units, but this was always the case. It is simply part of a constant refresh and is no cause for alarm.

The danger is that while the high street does require support (see below) it does not need knee-jerk reaction. There is plenty of great retail out there however, there is also a proportion of very average retail. Darwin is at work.Remain RelevantRelevance trumps discounting every time. Never was it so important and critical to be relevant.

But in order to do so is not the work of a moment.Theres a reason why retailers such as JD Sports, B&M, Deichmann, Primark, to name a few, are so successful. They know what their customers want and they deliver it to them time and time again. They are clear on what their brand stands for and they have a laser focus on maintaining it.

. Tax MattersWe all need to pay our taxes. The same applies to businesses. Its just that the current taxation system (including that for all retail businesses) was conceived in.....


News Code: 353278  |  Forbes
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