In recent years the high street has become a bleak and unstable place for many well-established brands.

We have seen stores close in their hundreds up and down the UK, as more traditional retailers fail to keep up with the demands of the modern consumer.

The likes of Mothercare, Debenhams, House of Fraser and other household names have either gone into administration or already disappeared from our town and city centres altogether.

Even former powerhouse Marks & Spencer has closed countless stores in the past year and plans to close 100 in total by 2022.

Among the doom and gloom, we can easily spot the brands who are taking action to halt the demise of the high street and have executed clever and creative plans to keep their stores alive and kicking.

Research, and in fact simple observations, prove there is still a hunger for physical, or offline, shopping as most of the major high streets are not yet deserted and desolate.

Consumers, who are now likely to shop both online and in-store, are still keen to visit shops that offer them more in the way of an experience, rather than simply a place to grab an item from the shelf or peg when they can do that from home.

We have watched the pioneers of experience retail enjoy growth year on year and believe a great deal can be learned from these key players.

JD Sports, for example, recorded a giant sales uplift of almost 50 per cent last year after taking dramatic steps to update and modernise their stores.

Technology plays a big part in their bricks-and-mortar experience, blurring the lines between online and physical retail, appealing directly to their demographic.

Shoppers will be able to discuss and plan with experts and buy for entire rooms using the tech-based home delivery service and, for the first time for Ikea on the high street, purchase more than 2,000 furnishing accessories in store.

 

 

 

 

 

 

While other stores close around them, budget clothing retailer Primark is pitching it just right by offering their customers a host of alternative options while they shop.

Their largest store to date, and in fact the biggest fashion retail store on the planet as confirmed by Guinness World Records, opened in Birmingham last year where customers can also visit their beauty salon or Disney-themed café.

All very appealing to the socially savvy Instagrammer – so very important in the 21st century.

Another clever shift for a brand known more for its “out of city” stores is by Ikea, who opened two ‘planning studios’ in London high streets last year and has announced plans for a shopping centre store in Hammersmith, set to open in spring 2021.

Its aim, to appeal to urban dwellers who might be reluctant to make a trip of several miles to a larger Ikea, making the experience convenient and accessible.

Shoppers will be able to discuss and plan with experts and buy for entire rooms using the tech-based home delivery service and, for the first time for Ikea on the high street, purchase more than 2,000 furnishing accessories in store.

It is clear brands are waking up to new habits and new ways of thinking by creating spaces to appeal to today’s consumers, who have so many choices literally at their fingertips.

But as retailers catch up and evolve, the high street is still very much an option for the omnichannel shopper, which means intriguing times ahead for bricks-and-mortar stores, and we are excited to be part of it.

More Insights

Find out how we can transform your retail performance