Since the start of the 21st century, news sites have been filled with stories about how the internet has killed the high street. To misquote Mark Twain, the High Street’s death’s been greatly exaggerated.
Instead of percentage of all sales, percentage increases get quoted. So, whilst there has been a huge percentage increase in online sales, this still makes up less than 5% of retail sales for most sectors.
The Ever Changing High Street
The growth of supermarkets saw the local independent fruit & veg store close down. Previous property booms saw estate agents occupying more and more retail outlets.
With the majority of daily cash payments being done on-line or via card readers, customers visit banks less often. So, retail banks are smaller and less local, mostly there for meeting rooms to discuss loans or mortgages.
Products requiring no physical inspection, prior to purchase such as software, books and music have gone. However, sales of goods and services haven’t stopped!
Every Void Gets Filled
Reading articles published on the subject, some assumed by 2010 the UK High Street would be full of show rooms, to view what you will then purchase on-line.
It’s more likely that products that are more awkward, or impossible to buy on-line, will take their place. We are already seeing an increase in outlets such as hairdressers and dog grooming on the high street as well as more restaurants.
There is another category. What about items you want to inspect, or even try on, before buying?