The lure of cheaper out-of-town premises is attractive to half of UK retailers, being better suited to multichannel models
A new survey has found that around one in five High Street retailers would consider moving premises to out-of-town locations.
A further 53% questioned by cloud-based retail software provider Cybertill
said they would not consider such a move, while 28% were undecided.
Following on from a report published by the Centre for Retail Research
that warned 20% of shops could close within five years, the results of surveying over 640 retailers across a range of sectors also found a variety of reasons given for wanting to move to out-of-town locations.
Benefits included lower rents, free parking, better access for deliveries, more space and an environment that is better suited to multichannel retail. By contrast, the main reason for not wanting to move to out-of-town locations was less passing trade.
Making room for multichannel
The survey also asked retailers about their investment plans for the future. Just under half of all retailers stated they plan to invest in e-commerce over any other sales channel, whereas just one in six retailers plan to invest in stores.
The apparent growing importance of e-commerce and online was also reflected in the fact that 40% of respondents trade on eBay, while more than one in five retailers also sell on Amazon.
“The High Street is struggling with many retailers complaining about excessive rent and rates. This survey clearly shows how retailers are focusing more online than ever before,” commented Ian Tomlinson, Cybertill chief executive.
“Retailers will leave the High Street in droves and relocate if it helps them deploy a more successful multichannel approach to retail where they can trade online, instore and over the phone.”