High Streets throughout the UK couldn’t survive without the support of the community. Lying directly in the hub of every town, in the centre of all activity, our High Streets have been on a roller-coaster journey ever since the recession hit in 2008.
and to let in Marlow
, High Wycombe and the Thames Valley, the team at Deriaz Slater have witnessed first-hand the effects of the High Street highs and lows. We understand the importance every High Street has on a community and as the economy slowly recovers now is the perfect time to play your part in supporting your local High Street.
Since 2000, 25,000 shops have closed in UK cities and towns, with an extra 9,000 expected to close by 2014. These startling figures show the reality of how the recession, an increase in superstores and the internet has had an impact on shops throughout the UK. In 2011 alone 183 retail brands became the victim of the recovering economy, the growth of online shopping and the power of superstores, but what is even more shocking is that The Retail Futures Report has predicted that a fifth of Britain’s high street stores could close by 2018. Not only will this see a decline in the high street as we know it, it will also see the loss of thousands of jobs.
With one in seven shops in our local centres lying empty, there’s no denying that action needs to be taken to save our favourite independent and nationwide stores becoming a victim of the increasing power of the internet, retail parks and superstores giants.
What can retailers do?
There are a number of things retailers can do to tempt shoppers back into the high street, as well as what the community can do to once again embrace their local shops:
- Join the internet revolution. Whether you build a website to sell items online or take on social media. With everyone moving online, without embracing the World Wide Web your store could be left behind.
- Build a partnership with other retailers, landowners, businesses, residents, local authorities and a representative from the local council. This will build and support your growth within the community, with the required representation covering all areas of your local town.
- Review your local High Street, internally and externally. Look into its strengths, weaknesses, threats, opportunities and influencing factors which will all have an impact on the potential growth in the future.
- Think about the access into the High Street, does transport and parking facilitate potential shoppers?
- Is your High Street in dire need of a makeover? One overwhelming issue with shopping centres across the UK is they can quickly become outdated and visually unpleasing. A tidy up and lick of paint are simple enough, but could make the world of difference to the look and feel of the local shopping area.
- Are you doing enough to entice people into your shop? Encourage and entertain people to really make a difference.
- Reward loyalty with a customer loyalty card, to encourage people to come back and spend money in your store.
What can shoppers do?
Shoppers have just as much of a responsibility to keep their local High Street alive and kicking, bucking the trend of the increasing numbers of stores bowing out due to pressures of modern society.
- Shop locally. This is simple enough, but the sad fact is not enough of us do it.
- Embrace local stores efforts online and offline.
- Customer loyalty – investing in your favourite store will not only retain your customer loyalty, your efforts will make a difference in the fight for the high street.
- Treasure your shopping experience. Despite the ease of online shopping, nothing will beat the experience of actively shopping.
If you are hoping to open up a retail business in the Thames Valley and would like to find out how, call Deriaz Slater today on 01628 495 500.
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