News was announced this week that the British Retail Consortium has joined forces with the British Council of Shopping Centres to create a task force to help “indebted town centre properties.” The Distressed Retail Property Taskforce aims to address issues such as physical degeneration and falling footfall in towns and cities nationwide.
As reported in the Daily Telegraph earlier this year the proportion of spending that takes place on the high street has dropped to well below half in under two decades, and is continuing to fall. People are spending more of their money at out-of-town centres or online.
We don’t claim to have the answer but as a leading point of sale manufacturer we certainly believe that part of the battle to win back lost customers can be done through effective point of sale displays.
The High Street needs to become an interesting place to visit – visually as well as in terms of the goods and services offered. Too many have become too dull, too samey and too unchanging.
Effective retail display does not have to be expensive; in fact it has to be cost-effective but with an ever wider range of off the shelf now available costs are lower than ever. Every High Street shop can invest in POS items that allow them to look great and deliver the key messages to bring customers into the store or shop.
Empty shops can be used for short-term ‘retail events’ and pop-up shops. Imagine the interest a High Street would generate if shoppers did not know from one week to the next what to expect when they visited. Currently, their expectation is that there will be more and more boarded up premises. Pop-up shops can be kitted out inexpensively and, with most items available immediately, quickly.
Independent stores, cafes and service providers need to develop brand identity to create the kind of loyalty that will encourage consumers back to the High Street and effective, well considered and regularly updated displays can do help achieve this identity. We might not be Mary Portas but think she would agree that the look is almost as important as the product to today’s consumer.
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