It’s a sorry sight looking around some of the UK’s towns and cities. ‘To Let’ signs everywhere following the collapse of not only independent shops, but also some of the biggest names in retail. This year has seen high street chains including House of Fraser, Homebase and Poundworld go into administration, as well as many others.
The answer seems so obvious – online shopping. When you can get almost anything you want from Amazon, why bother hitting the shops? Benefits of buying online include:-
Being able to shop from the comfort of your sofa
Not paying expensive parking charges
Wide choice of goods
Having everything delivered
Recent research from Qualtrics shows that 41% of retail workers rarely look forward to going to work, so unhappy shop workers may also be having an effect!
Any other contributing factors?
Pricey high street rents
Less staff costs
Consumer decrease in disposable income – 48% of UK employees regularly borrow in order to meet basic financial needs (Neyber)
What is the result?
Simple – redundancies. In July it was reported that retail workers account for approximately 50,000 of job losses this year. Data from turnaround specialist firm Alvarez and Marsal shows that the number of UK companies filing for insolvency is expected to grow each year, especially within the retail sector.
What can be done? Some suggestions…
Increase taxes for online retailers
Reduce business rates
Provide free parking
Increase transport links
Rent incentives for independent retailers
Whilst these may not all be possible but worth looking into.