An article on the BBC [www.bbc.co.uk] has commented on a growing trend of pure online retailers to open up 'bricks and mortar' stores on British high streets. It highlights companies such as ScrewFix, Oak Furniture and fashion retailer JD Williams that own brands such as SimplyBe and Jacamo.
Screwfix began its life as a catalogue business almost 35 years ago, and then bought the business online and in 2005 opened its first stores – of which it has more than 300 throughout the UK. Interestingly, Oak Furniture started out as an eBay store, but just a few years later it was the biggest retailer on the site and launched its own online store. Demand was so great it opened a number of bricks and mortar stores, which account for two thirds of its revenue. JD Williams sites the social experience of high street shopping as a motivation in its seven stores.
This article comes a month after the British Retail Consortium (BRC) [www.seeker.info] published figures on a negative decline of high street sales due to an unusually cold-snap in March. As the weather is improving and the days are getting longer, it’s inevitable that shopper numbers will pick-up and our high streets will be buzzing.
If you own a high-street store, it's a great time to be looking at how visible you are to shoppers and how you are attracting footfall into your stores, particularly when using mobile devices.
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