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Impact of the Decision To Leave the EU

Impact of the Decision To Leave the EU

It is now clear that the British people have made the choice to leave the European Union. The countr...


Resistance to Online Retail Will Close 1 in 5 Stores

A new report has predicted that up to 20% of high street shops in the UK will be forced to close by 2018, as they fail to compete with their online counterparts. The research, carried out by an independent analysis group, Centre for Retail Research, says this could constitute as many as 62,000 stores – employing 316,000 people. 

Crisis for Small Businesses

“The UK is facing a crisis. Retailers will either make clear decisions that permit online retail to coexist with other retail channels… or, by avoiding making these decisions, multiple retailers will disappear,” according to the report.

The study estimates that chemists and beauty retailers will be hardest hit, followed by music and book shops. And while large chain supermarkets may be evolving with online trends, smaller niche stores such as butchers and bakeries are expected to suffer.

Retailers Must Adapt to Survive

The report raises concerns about retailers’ "change-averse" attitudes to online shopping, saying most are resigned to the idea that they are “doomed” to eventual defeat at the hands of the internet. But Bamfield claims that smaller stores can still compete if they “fully integrate [their] physical stores with their websites, smartphone offering and social media community”.

The study claims that retailers with a strong web offering now need just 70 high street stores to establish a national presence, compared to 250 less than ten years ago. Online shopping currently accounts for 13% of the entire retail trade in the UK, and is expected to rise to 22% by 2018.

Source: Digital Marketing Institute - Resistance to Online Retail Will Close 1 in 5 Stores