The transformation of the high street

Restrictions have pushed even more people away from the high street towards online retailers and grocers. Few will go back.

The traditional high street, already struggling, will struggle more.

It took about 15 years for 5% of retail sales to shift online, then another 10 to shift another 5%. It has taken 10 weeks for another 5% of retail sales to shift online by consumers who say that they will never return to doing those activities in a physical world. (Source: What happens if consumers stop consuming? - Chris Skinner's blog published 29/05/202)

In the worst outcome, high streets will dies and towns will become hollowed out.

In a more optimistic outcome, a new sense of localism will revive the high street as a social hub. Less a place to shop for essentials, and more a place to engage with your community.

Independent outlets have responded more creatively to the crisis. They have done so by offering support in their communities. This could be by changing their product mix (think bakeries selling flour) or channels (think restaurant's switching to takeaways).


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