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Published on January 16th, 2017 | by The GC Team


Half of UK town centre stores “wiped out” by 2030, says new report

According to a new report by e-commerce delivery specialist ParcelHero, half of today’s town centre stores will disappear over the next 13 years as online shopping, now at £1 billion a week in the UK and growing more than 25% year on year, strangles the life out of bricks-and-mortar shopping.

The report, 2030: The Death of the High Street, charts the decline in high street retail premises: 600,000 in 1950; 290,000 in 2012, and just 220,000 projected to survive to 2020. If the exponential growth in home deliveries continues, claims the report, another 100,000 stores will be lost in the decade between 2020 and 2030, leaving only 120,000 high street shops in the UK by 2030. Assuming exponential growth in online shopping, it will account for about 40% of all UK retail sales. Supermarket physical store sales will have dropped from 42% to 24%, a point at which volume is not enough to sustain their tight margins.

As estate agents, banks, department stores, fashion outlets on high streets are squeezed out by online solutions, the high street will become less and less attractive as a shopping destination, footfall will dwindle and all physical stores will suffer.

It’s a bleak outlook (assuming the e-commerce growth projections are correct and no new steps are taken by bricks-and-mortar outlets to make themselves more attractive to shoppers).

The report suggests that, to protect themselves, “high streets must return to a Victorian model. Shopping should become a more social experience again with local food deliveries increasing, based on Uber-style crowd source Apps. Homes must also return to UK High Streets to prevent no go areas after 6pm.”

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