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Strong e-commerce sales cause closure of Premier League store

30 January 2013 - 10:40 by Graham Miller

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The rise of shopping online is having an impact on the high streets of Britain in a number of ways, as well as leaving its mark on major retailers and smaller outlets alike.

This week it was reported that Premier League team, Stoke City, would be shutting down one of its official shops as a direct result of an increased demand for sales of replica kits and memorabilia via e-commerce.

Stoke City was founded 150 years ago, making it the UK's second most venerable professional football side. However, its outlet in Newcastle-under-Lyme is being dismantled so that there can be a renewed focus on catering to customers who are buying products via safe shopping online.

Club chief exec, Tony Scholes, said that Stoke City was seeing more and more people placing orders on the internet rather than heading out to its high street stores. As such, he and the other executives felt that the time was right to reduce the club's high street presence, from three stores down to two.

Of course, this is a relatively minor reduction to a small operation when compared with the recent stories involving HMV and Jessops. But if major football teams are having to restructure their retail operations to cater to changing habits, it is clear that the impact of e-commerce is not restricted to one particular area of the market.

Mr Scholes did say that if demand is significant enough, Stoke City might look into opening a pop-up shop to sell memorabilia and kits in Newcastle-under-Lyme, during the busiest periods of the year. This is indicative of the shape that British high streets across the country are beginning to take, with retailers taking residence on a temporary basis, before making way for a new type of outlet.