Last year, before there was a hint of Coronavirus, I wrote an essay about how the high street can compete with Amazon, Tesco and other retail giants.
It’s too early to say how deeply the impact of Coronavirus will be felt by the high street, but it’s clear that the high street will significantly change in the forthcoming months. As businesses look to reopen in the next month or so, forefront in their mind should be their ability to stay open in the face of ‘The sharpest recession on record’, and the unprecedented profits reaped by major players during the lock-down period. This is doubly important as the lock-down has normalised online shopping.
Whilst the essay focusses on retail in Burnley, the conclusions are widely applicable. By focussing on customers, and service, businesses can thrive in niches that can simply not be threatened by online megaliths. A key part to this strategy is to embrace “omnichannel” retail. Customers expect to be able to buy what they want, when they want. Only allowing them to buy products when the shop is physically open clearly misses potential sales.
Read the essay here