British High Streets have Reached Crisis Point

Government consultant Mary Portas’ independent review into the state of Britain’s high streets and its towns centres have been widely welcomed by retailers who feel let down by the Government.

In her report, Mary Portas claims that retailers have reached ‘Crisis Point’ and are likely to ‘disappear’ without decisive action. Her report outlines several measures, which she feels will pull the High Street out of its current downward spiral. Her recommendations include plans to cut red tape and offer more incentives for town centre development including making it easier to set up markets.

Vacancy rates in market towns have doubled in the last two years as stores have closed down due to the economic downturn. This year alone an estimated 20 shops have closed every day across the country. One in seven shops on UK high streets currently stand empty, although in some towns as many as four in ten shops are vacant.

Here at North West Business Machines, we feel strongly about our high streets. They are the life blood of our communities and are fundamental to our societies. Whilst online shopping, super-supermarkets and out of town retail parks are convenient, they have drained the traffic and shopping trade from our town centres.

Online retailing has opened up a huge market for many retailers, and it’s important that retailers adapt to the changing habits of the consumer. By using online as both a channel for engagement and a way for consumers to research products in-store, retailers can drive footfall and target customers with relevant promotions, updates and discounts that can be redeemed in store. Twitter and Facebook are also playing an increasingly important role and, used both online and in-store, can build brand awareness and loyalty.

Epos Connect from North West Business Machines removes all the stumbling blocks of having to manage multiple channels. Your business’s stock, sales and finances can all be controlled from one central area – removing the hassle of managing two systems and stock files. This will vastly reduce man hours and staff overheads. Epos Connect allows for seamless integration of your website and streamlines all your business processes freeing up your time to concentrate on what matters – growing your business.

There are still tough times ahead for many town centres across the UK and how the nut is cracked is not quite clear, but better integration between online and offline is a must if retailers are to succeed.

To find out more about how North West Business Machines can help you engage with more customers through online integration contact North West Business Machines on 01254 881177.