Gone are the days when setting up on the high street could be considered the bread and butter revenue stream for a business.
Whilst it is still the ultimate aspirations for any discerning retail brand to be situated on the high street, the way consumers shop has changed. Customer power is back in full flow and they are the ones dictating how they wish to shop. As business owners , we have to and must adjust, it really is as simple as that.
Consumers have choices and they choose to exercise it at your peril;
They may opt to shop online if it is more convenient to do so, they may even opt to seek out the best deals all at the press of a few buttons / keys on their smartphones. The Qwerty keyboard is now the arch nemesis of the high street, so now the high street has to fight back.
Since I started RedBorder Ltd in 2006, the bulk of my clients have been small business. I am often posed with the question is the high street dead, is there any point trying to have a unit on the high street, when they can’t afford marketing, PR to get the customers through the doors. I am a proud optimist / glass full kind of sentimentalist and therefore my responses to these FAQ’s generally reflect that.
In answer to those questions: No I don’t believe the high street is dead, in fact, it is patiently waiting for the community to come back together. The high street has evolved, it is no longer the place simply to pop down for a pint of milk. The high streets stakeholders are no longer just the businesses which trades from it, but also the residents, schools and community groups. They all have a vested interest in the high street thriving as the knock on effect of this will be felt by all who choose to buy in. There is an increase in local high streets opting in to the BID (Business Improvement District). These are a great way for businesses to take control of their high street and have a real stake in it.
For more details on the BID, please click the image below…
In response to the second question, I am a strong advocate of taking your business to the customer if they are not coming to you., Whilst it may take a lot more effort on the business part, businesses small, medium or large, should never underestimate the power of engaging with customers at the back to basic grassroots of retailing level.
Politicians do it when they are canvassing for votes, knocking on doors speaking to voters, in the retail world the same voters are your customers. Whilst i am not suggesting to go knocking on doors, unless that is a viable business opportunity for your business, mobile trading opportunities should be included in the marketing strategy of any retail business,
In my line of work, I communicate with clients and colleagues via various methods, however I do find face to face is the most effective and instantaneous, whereas email and telephone calls often pose delays to a process. It is this school of thought which is applied to the theory of mobile trading opportunities and the possibilities it presents.
I was recently invited to take part in a radio interview, regarding my experience of working within the retail industry and my thoughts on the decline of the high street and how it can be reinvigorated.
You can listen to the interview below.
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