The retail industry saw two key movers and shakers make inroads on the continued death of the high street debate. In the US, Amazon announced that it will treble its cashier-free “grab and go” stores. While in the UK, Primark declared new store openings assisted in their half year sales growing by four per cent compared to last year.
What this shows us is that, despite the doom and gloom around the survival of the high street, brick and mortar stores still play a pivotal role in the retail sales model. However instead of being a primary point of purchase, stores are now part of a broader retail strategy.
For Primark it is far more simple. Their retail space has grown by 300,000 sq ft across EMEA and confirms that the good retail high street stories are from either the premium or discount end of the market. In fact, recent research shows the migration from the mid-market is tied to the eruption in budget brands and discount days, with 69% of UK respondents stating they will now shop at Argos, TK Maxx, H&M and Tiger. For Amazon, the opening of 17 new stores in the next few months signals their ambitions are bigger than just e-commerce. And these brick and mortar stores continue to increase customer awareness of the brand.
So while the retail industry continues to be disrupted, the key to survival is innovating and presenting a more personalised experience for customers that doesn’t forget about the power of in-store.
Amazon plans to continue its assault on the high street by almost trebling its cashier-free "grab and go" stores in the US.