Walk through any high street in the UK and it’s likely that you will be confronted with the sad scene of empty premises and largely deserted streets. Many people may conclude that this situation is the result of the recession; however, a report from the IAB claims that this may not be the only contributing factor to the high streets decline.
James Taylor, enterprise director at the IAB, comments; “To identify the recession as the main reason for the high streets decline, is both short-sighted and misleading. Town centres throughout the UK were in trouble long before the credit-crunch began to bite and if high street retailers fail to recognise the fundamental issues causing their decline, it will continue be in trouble well in the UK’ economic recovery ”
“From the feedback we have received, it is clear to see that consumer behaviour has changed. That is not to say that that the high street is obsolete, just that it needs to evolve to meet the changing needs. For example, despite the fact that online retail figures have increased exponentially over the last year, many high street shops still do not have a fully functioning e-commerce website.”
“The high street’s survival depends on its ability to respond to and anticipate trends.”