Alison RapseyBy Alison Rapsey – Course Director Fashion Retail Management

I can smell the pine and gluwein from the German market so it must nearly be Christmas… but with the recent flooding and a struggling retail market can the high-street cope?

It will be tough, the traditional bricks and mortar stores are seeing more competition than ever from online retailers with consumers shopping for a bargain and comparison shopping. We are more techno-savvy and more switched on to using the internet than ever before and we can do it anywhere, anytime, from mobile apps, surfing the net and from the bath!

But consider this…

Online purchasing as convenient as it may be, we still need to be at home to collect the packages, something we can’t all afford time to do – so retailers may see some benefit in “collect in store”  options – no delivery charges to you, just your parking…

Retailers are also targeting consumers with “in store only” special deals, to encourage us back over the season. Discount retailers like Aldi are offering direct product comparison on TV.  Everyone is offering  discounts now rather than the traditional January sales to tempt us all out from behind our screens.

The winners will be the discount stores like Poundland, Primark – offering the basics cheaply or the fashion product at a value rate.

How should retailers cope? Keep focusing on the service – the front line staff need to offer great service and  push sales at the front line the old fashioned way – something you can’t do online.


Also of interest, Birmingham City Business School’s Professor Chris Edger discusses how to save the High Street.

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Alison Rapsey

Alison Rapsey

Course Director Fashion Retail Management