WHY HIGH STREETS ARE STRUGGLING
The high street was once the place to be when ever you wanted anything, but now the high streets are fast becoming ghost towns, as people now look else where for what they need. Over the last few months, we have all heard about retailers either closing down, or closing some of their stores, in the hope of being able to turn their business around and give longevity to their business.
When you see some of the businesses that are in trouble, it’s easy to see why, for example lets take Toys R Us as an example here, Toys R Us in the UK was founded in 1984, at a time when the internet wasn’t really around. So consumers had to get in their car or use public transport to go to the store, buy the item and then travel back home. There was no real experience for the consumer on that visit. Fast forward 34 years and Toys R Us still expected the consumer to continue to do the same thing, but as we all value our time more than ever, we have become a bit lazy with our shopping habits and thanks to the internet we can buy a game online from the likes of Amazon, but from the comfort of our sofa and without actually having to leave your house. Toys R Us wanted to consumers to still travel to their stores and experience the same bland shopping experience that it offered in the late 80’s early 90’s, this is not what consumers wanted anymore
What Toys R Us should have done, was create a new experience that no other toy retailer offered at that time. Toys R Us should have been the first toy retailer to offer a Build A Bear for yourself, kids would have loved that! Toys R Us should have offered Game Battles where you could play the games in-store but against other customers. It needed to be so different from what made it a success in it’s early years, sadly it’s lack of focus and real understanding on what consumers actually wanted and their changing shopping habits has resulted in Toys R Us closing forever.
There are many fashion retailers on the brink of suffering the same fate as Toys R Us, but are lucky enough to be able to close some stores in the hope of turning their business around before it’s too late. The problem still remains the same, shopping habits have changed and retailers need to change too.
Both Fashion retailers, Select and New Look announced they are facing tough trading conditions, but when you look at fashion retailers as a whole they all offer the same bland customer shopping experience. Next time you’re on the high street or in a shopping centre, just look at the high number of fashion retailers competing with each other and how they offer the same experience. Primemark offers a bland consumer experience too, but it is so popular with consumers because their fashion items are so cheap, consumers don’t have the same high expectations that they have for fashion retailer that sells their fashion items at a higher price.
Whatever the business your in, make sure you are offering your consumers a great customer experience. Don’t just market to the customers first visit, market to their third visit, as the likely hood of a 4th visit is over 70%, if your customer buys from you on four occasions, they will continue to buy from you.