Mary Queen of Shops' mission in deserted UK retail shops

Mary Portas, Queen of Shops, is on a wild goose chase. Even before she starts her research, my money is on these conclusions:

Online retail is booming, whilst UK high street retail shops' sales are plummeting. Debenhams and others are proving this. Here are 3 views to shed some possible light:

From the consumers' eyes on high street retail shops:

  • Expensive petrol and parking in towns.
  • Wasted time taken in traffic versus going online at home when you have a spare minute in front of the television.
  • Open 8-12 hours a day, normally when you cannot or do not want to shop.
  • Shoe leather costs.

From the online retailers' eyes:

  • Cheap warehouse space in middle of nowhere in many cases, starting in your front room at home, but close enough for DHL and Royal Mail to get to to pick up deliveries.
  • Sell all day and night.
  • Have loads of inventory, great pricing and quick reactions to competitors pricing online.
  • Best of all, THE ONLINE RETAILER KNOWS EXACTLY WHO BOUGHT WHAT WHEN - the e-commerce version of the Tesco Clubcard.
  • Brilliant. Anytime in the future, segmented, they can then blast them with future promotions.

From the supermarket giants' eyes:

  • They are clever. Get more and more of what you need from 1 place that you have to go to (or even get delivered) as one must eat and drink.
  • Their online retail shops will be bigger than Amazon is the claim. I believe it. Again, the one stop shop. They are brilliant merchandisers and are generating cash like crazy - always useful when in a fight.

So if Mary Portas does not conclude this, surprised I shall be. She may also conclude that people are less social these days, preferring to communicate on facebook rather than join Round Table and in reality find hanging out in town centres less than desirable.

Author: Jonathan Bellwood