Isn\’t The Guardian wonderful?

An editorial on the death of the high street.

Not once do they mention technological change.

You know, the idea that there might be some connection between 12 % or so of retail sales being over the internet and 12% or so of shop fronts being empty?

Perhaps I\’m being picky, even pendantic. But you would have thought that the idea would at least be considered, even if only to be rejected, eh?

14 thoughts on “Isn\’t The Guardian wonderful?”

  1. Multi channel selling is the way forward.
    Selling on several internet sites including own, amazon, ebay etc – don’t even need a large facility to store stock (both amazon and royal mail can store stock for you).

    High street basically open 9 to 5. Internet always open. High street has to maintain sufficient markup on goods to cover business rates, rents, staffing etc.
    Who would WANT to set up shop in the high street these days?

  2. Does anyone honestly miss Woolworths, Peacocks, Game or JJB sports?

    I get that people miss the personal service of local butchers and sweet shops (although we prefer all the other benefits of supermarkets) but these were faceless chain stores who were often successful because they had the prime locations rather than excellent value and service.

    Personally, I’m much happier with Steam for games. Go online, buy the game, it downloads and you play.

  3. To be fair to the article, it mentions access to broadband at the beginning & the effect of internet retailers near the end. And surprisingly for the Graun, highlights increased business rates & councils chiselling parking charges as two factors deterring high street retailing.
    They putting something in the water in the Farringdon Road now?

  4. bloke in spain,

    To be fair to the article, it mentions access to broadband at the beginning & the effect of internet retailers near the end.

    But did you see what they did there? The subject of internet retailers was only mentioned in reference to “sophisticated tax planning”, as if town centres would be able to compete if only Amazon couldn’t do that.

    Which as anyone involved in internet retailing will tell you is bollocks.

  5. Shops can’t ignore the Internet.

    Take away thieving rates/parking rip-offs/endless regulation and the hassle of employing people –ie all the antics of the thieving, tinpot–sorry, “courageous” state–local and national and a true picture of retail possibilities would appear. No reason why, free from the above, a retailer couldn’t sit in their small shop running their online business between live customers calling in.

  6. ‘No reason why, free from the above, a retailer couldn’t sit in their small shop running their online business between live customers calling in.’

    Except that in my experience the average small shop keeper are totally petrified by ecommerce. It requires intelligence above that required to run a small shop.

    Some fine exceptions to be sure, but most small shopkeepers are small because that’s their level of expertise.

  7. Some shops sell across multiple platforms – helps cashflow, brings additional customers, increases profits. If done well. Done badly you can lose your shirt.

    Its also a question of time – not every shop owner wants to spend the required time doing additional work.

  8. From the article:

    Others pointed to cash-starved councils, hungrier for car park fees than to take the long view on their commercial centres.

    God forbid they trim back on the 5-a-day coordinators.

  9. Martin Davies,

    In this day and age, I’d say that multiple platforms is a bit of a no-brainer.

    I know someone who recently set up a small commerce site for a business using Prestashop. She’d never done one before, is non-technica and had it set up and running within a couple of days. The software is free, hosting is perhaps £10/month.

  10. Fortunately, not even the clever clogs on this site can open a tap on the side of their ‘puter and get a pint of good local, micro brewery beer!! And the only conversation one gets here is electronic…
    Conversely, with fewer town centre shops as a draw and higher charges, rates, rent etc. all round aided by the smoking police, vomit and urine everywhere at night fewer people are using town centre pubs. So, like your ex-village pub (now a gastro-restaurant), use ’em or loose ’em.

  11. Tim Almond, you’d be suprised how many people I come across who are single platform sellers. Great if things go well. Great for keeping costs down. And there is a stock control element though software is available (or simply allocate percentage of stock between each platform).
    And risk losing everything if there’s a major problem.

    As you say its easy enough to set up own websites these days. Planning to do one for our self employed business sometime after Christmas.
    And the likes of ebay, ebid, amazon, etsy, folksy etc make it relatively easy to sell. If willing to put the time in and take the risks.

  12. Fortunately, not even the clever clogs on this site can open a tap on the side of their ‘puter and get a pint of good local, micro brewery beer!!

    No, but I can open my fridge and have a bottle of it from a case that I ordered online. As, indeed, I am.

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