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Retailers seek to maximise high street impact as online shopping grows

12 May 2014 - 09:44 by Graham Miller

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Various factors have contributed to the decline of the traditional high street in the last few years, with shopping online often being blamed for putting established bricks and mortar retailers out of business.

However, one property expert believes that while the web has definitely had an effect, it is also helping certain firms to make more of an impact in the real world and think carefully about how they approach the way they engage with consumers on the high street.

Guy Glover said that e-commerce success is actually enabling some retailers to be choosier when it comes to selecting store locations, according to Investment Week.

He points to John Lewis, which has seen its sales increase consistently, thanks to its expansion into the world of safe shopping online. While it may no longer be sustainable to keep opening new stores ad hoc, companies like this can, instead, take the time to select locations for flagship outlets that will complement their e-commerce offerings.

Glover pointed out that the biggest success for high streets could be gleaned in places across the UK where there are no major shopping centres in the vicinity. And of course, this points to another major reason that the high street has been suffering in the past couple of decades.

Meanwhile, the rise of e-commerce has resulted in other changes to the property market, because retailers are now seeking to improve their distribution capabilities to keep up with the demand from consumers who want to place orders online.

This is no doubt an interesting time for retail, because high street chains are learning that rather than try to fight the influence of the internet, they need to merge it with their bricks and mortar operations, to sustain success.