Dismal start to 2017 for the High Street (Everyone shopped online)

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According to retail intelligence experts, Springboard, New Year’s Day sales marked a terrible start to the year for High Street retailers.

In start contrast to 2016, there was a 23.8% Year-on-Year average decline in footfall across the UK. Shopping Centres fared the worst with a steep decline of -49.5% Year-on-Year, compared to an increase on +9.8% experienced on the 1st of January 2016.

The poor start to High Street retail for 2017 was blamed on poor weather, an early December spending spree and Bank Holiday trading hours deterred shopping from stepping outdoors on New Year’s Day. Truthfully I can’t remember New Year’s Day 2016 that well but it’s hard to imagine it was balmy sunshine, wasn’t a Bank Holiday and shoppers hadn’t already blown their wad in pre-Christmas shopping. It sounds like poor excuses however true it may be.

Diane Wehrle, Springboard insights director says: “Retailers traditionally see the first trading weekend of the New Year as a sign of things to come, and if this still rings true the industry is set for a rocky 2017. The ease and comfort of online shopping proved too enticing for shoppers keen to snap up further discounts in the sales rather than bracing the cold outdoors. Shopping Centres in particular have a challenge ahead in 2017”.

That all suggests that shoppers were spending, just not in physical locations. If you hadn’t turned your website and marketplaces off over the Christmas period, how were your New Year sales?

2 Responses

  1. The problem for the high street is things have reverted to the 1990s effectively.

    Before the internet, you had your basic high street options, or else it was slow mail order.

    Once the internet got going, high street retailers responded and, for a while, you had the embryonic internet and a decent high street range.

    But then, once the internet took over, the high street gave up and just carried a standard range, stuff that was bound to sell anyway.

    The problem is that if you want something specific, or anything that’s just slightly outside the standard range, you won’t be able to get it in the high street any more. This Xmas I tried and failed to get most of my pressies locally.

    Sure, they can get it in for you, if you ask. But you can do that on the internet.

    Add in the hassles of parking and physically carrying the items and it’s easy to see why the internet wins.

    Difficult to see a way back.

  2. Good post
    Can’t see how it improves. Rents price out small business from opening up anywhere prominent. Next have reported falling sales. Jamie Oliver’s closed six restaurants. Only costa coffee and charity shops doing well. Maybe a few jewellers here and there

    11 chain restaurants just opened in my town.. killed off three independents already.. looking a bit grim and the council want to bring in Sunday parking charges, unbelievable!



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