For most small businesses and recent company formations, the increase in revenue over the festive period allows their companies to remain buoyant for the rest of the year. This year business owners waited and waited for the flurry of sales that never came according to a report by ONS.
The report found that the retail sector was the most badly effected, with many businesses experiencing sales levels worse than in 2008. Yet the sector which continues to report growth is online. This fact has prompts the question; is offline retail suffering due to broader economic factors or is shopping on the high street simply becoming obsolete due to the rising popularity of online shopping? We speak to consumer behavior expert, Mike Byrne:
“The rise in online spending has had an undoubted impact on the high street. Many consumers feel that they get a better deal online and that the process is much easier and more convenient than going on the high street. While I wouldn’t say the online shopping has replaced the high street, I would definitely suggest that those offline retailers who don’t have an online presence should definitely plan to establish on in 2010.”