Shopocalypse Now — Coming to a High Street Near You

March 1 2018
Shopocalypse cropped

Pre-internet retailers getting left behindSHOPOCALYPSE NOW

  • Looking around the High Street and listening to the news gives us a new film idea: Shopocalypse Now
  • Starring plucky (and possibly doomed) heroes Debenhams, House of Fraser, New Look, Maplins, and Toys R Us
  • Up against dastardly supervillains Online Competition, Business Rates, Rising Rents, Inflation, Soft Wage Growth, and Changing Trends

A big question needs a big answer…

  • Distressed debt funds circle like vultures overhead. Many are bloated from stripping the UK High Street over the past couple of years but sense the feast is not over
  • Casual dining has filled some of the vacancies but cannot be the only answer
  • Other ventures that might step in to fill the void: leisure pursuits, local shops focusing on provenance and artisanship, food markets, butchers, bakers, candlestick makers
  • One thing is for sure: the solution requires real vision and creativity

Creative destruction – ‘twas ever thus…

  • Retail Week’s Retail 2018 report shows 60% of retailers are prioritising ecommerce investment – the great migration from High Street to online shows no signs of abating
  • This exodus provides an opportunity for a more residential and experiential High Street. Whether this happens or not is another story
  • Maplins is the latest to announce it is in ‘crunch talks’ with potential buyers
  • Unfortunately, we suspect this will be a recurring theme in 2018