Our beloved high street has had its last rites multiple times over recent years.
The wonderful Christine Cross stopped me in my tracks when she used the phrase ‘lack of cognitive diversity at senior levels’. This has never been truer of retail than it is right now.
With business tough, retail is relying on the tried and tested. When there are threats everywhere, this is understandable to a degree. However, and that is a big, however, the major challenge with being a retailer is that everything you have ever done is about getting stuff to stores. The entire business is built to that outcome. Then stick some digital around it, on it, under it. Then some ‘experience’ as that seems to be trending. Voila – you have new retail.
Only you don’t really do you?
Of course having great products that people might actually want is a large part of the battle. But assuming you have those, what next?
This is where it gets crunchy. It’s clear that on many levels, being in a physical space is a ‘good’ thing. The challenge being that in the rush to digital, many retailers thrown the kitchen sink at digital and its cousin, transformation and it’s not entirely working for them. Folks are fundamentally lazy and won’t go out if given half the chance not to, so retailers see eCommerce growing, but its hard yards and their stores are labouring under high rates, rents and low footfall.
Retailers have a largely unchanged physical model with a frighteningly voracious digital model running alongside. To make it even more challenging, much of the digital infrastructure in place is already holding the business back.
So what to do?
Well, talk to us of course.