Is the high street set to become a thing of the past?
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It’s convenient, quick and provides us with infinate variety. Will the high street ever be able to fight back?
With almost 6000 store closures last year alone, the future of the UK high street is becoming an increasing concern.
Although Ebay and Amazon quickly became the be all and end all of everything you could think possible - books, swimwear, phone chargers, and who could forget, Alexa - it’s the fashion e-commerce that has been seen to take the most dramatic leap in recent years.
ASOS as a key example, have proven to be incredibly successful in lessening the gap between physical and online retail experiences - incorportating features such as 360 videos and use a ‘try before you buy’ payment option to create an online shopping experience that is as close to the real-deal as it can possibly be.
The list of fast fashion online guru’s is vast and growing; Missguided, Pretty Little Thing, Boohoo, Oh Polly, Nasty Gal, In The Style… the list goes on and on, while traditional fashion retailers are falling behind.
According to the 2018 Hitwise Fashion Report, online brands are seeing a huge jump with Chinese company Shein seeing an insane 744% year on year growth with visits to the site and Oh Polly also hugely in front with their 446% visit growth. Meanwhile, high street staples, Urban Outfitters have seen a 1% growth and Zara a 3% decline.
Though the speed of retailers to adapt to trends quickly and produce cheap fashion has a lot to do with these changes, the practical factors also have a lot to answer for. In particular, the weather issues of this year caused days of closure for some high street stores due to safety.
The practicality of online shopping seems dangrously attractive in the face of hectic modern lifestyles. And then there's the discounts.
Missguided’s rare but infamous 50% off everything caused their site and app to crash quickly, and throughout events like the World Cup or Love Island, countless retailers would send notifications through their app to celebrate goals or re-couplings with 20/25% off. Outdoing the typical student discounts by far.
Is it any wonder the high street is facing a supposed ‘retailer apocalypse’?