Following the Multi Channel Retailing feature in last month’s Grocery Trader, Debra Jamieson at UK POS had this to say on this important topic: Following reports that up to four in ten high street stores will close in the next five years, it is more important than ever for retailers to plan ahead and implement a creative strategy for each of its retail channels. Research indicates that the boundary between physical and virtual space is becoming blurred, meaning that retailers need to think carefully about how best to maximise the potential of their physical space.

Online shopping is unable to offer the same experience to customers that a retail space can, however shopping from the comfort of your living room is convenient and becoming increasingly appealing; making it imperative for shops to fight for their place and maintain their presence on the British high street. In order to do this, the retail world needs to be innovative if it stands a chance of competing. A shop still has a lot to offer the customer and merchandising, location and customer service still remain important to the average customer, but twenty years ago, would we have ever considered that shops would need to fight for their place in consumers’ hearts?

Although at UK POS we fully support retailers and proudly back the campaign to improve British high streets, we also understand that not all businesses benefit from a physical space. A lot of time, effort and expense go in to ensuring footfall and therefore sales remain high in shops; a key part of this is point of sale. Visual merchandising to highlight products and any special offers must look fresh, clean and appealing. The same principles are used online, and the importance of efficient design runs across all retail channels, however costs for online retailers are much lower, allowing them to thrive in this more challenging economic environment.

At UK POS we are particularly looking forward to seeing the effect of Mary Portas’ recommendations for the high street, as it is clear that people do support the British high street from the positive response her suggestions have received.  If the high street is going to survive alongside online shopping, something definitely needs to change, retailers need to be smart and invest wisely in their marketing strategies and make sure they can weather the current economic storm.

If you would like to discuss this further contact Debra on debra@ukpos.com.

UK POS

www.ukpos.com

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