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Store closures forecast as online shopping continues growing

05 June 2018 - 15:14 by David Aiken

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Up to 10,000 bricks and mortar retail outlets could have shut their doors for good before 2018 draws to a close, according to new predictions made by the Centre for Retail Research.

Meanwhile analysts also estimate that the increase in the number of people carrying out safe shopping online will mean that almost £61.5 billion will be spent via the web this year in the UK alone.

This paints a clear picture of the stark contrast in the fate of real world retail and its digital equivalent, with major high street chains suffering setback after setback while their e-commerce rivals thrive.

There are many different reports which study the size of the UK’s market for safe shopping online and in this case it is thought that around 17.8 per cent of all retail sales this year will be carried out through digital platforms, rather than at physical stores.

When broken down further, separating food sales from non-food sales, e-commerce has an even heftier 26.5 per cent stake in the latter marketplace. Meanwhile it is being held back at the moment by its 6.3 per cent foothold in the grocery market, meaning that consumer habits are proving to be slower to shift from their traditional shapes in this area.

Store closures mean more job losses are on the way, while retailers will need to work harder online to compete for the attention of customers who are increasingly savvy about what an e-commerce platform should be able to offer them.

A lot of retail industry experts see personalisation as the next big thing in this sector, both online and in-store. But in the wake of the rollout of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), it could be harder for companies to provide bespoke experiences.