Leading retailers who populate our high streets need to set an example and lead the way to help failing urban areas.
The high street stalwarts i.e. M&S, Sainsburys, Next, Boots, Waitrose, Tesco, etc should encourage and help support businesses wishing to retail via the high street. There should be a form of collaboration and comraderie to ensure the diminishment of the high street does not occur.
In my previous blog The Decline of the High Street I address the failings of the large retailers in areas of customer service and embracing change and innovation. It’s never been tougher at the top, look at Blockbuster, Borders, Lombok, Allied Carpets, the list goes on of retailers that have fallen.
I truly believe that a large number of these retailers could have survived if they had taken different steps. Each case, of course, is different to the next, but the bottom line is they are sadly no more. Brands that continue to, and will thrive are innovative, forward thinking and image conscious. They embrace change, focus on customer service and flexibility, continually monitoring customer feedback and ensuring they give the customer the best service they can. They cross-market and integrate with current news and trends. Retailers who survive don’t assume. They are constantly improving.
These are all lessons that can be passed onto other smaller retailers. If the large retailers want the high street to survive then they must work together to ensure this happens. The retailers have a responsibility not only to the customer but the community in which they inhabit. We, as communities also have a responsibility to support our local retailers. If we want our high street to survive then we need to encourage them to find new ways to retain and build their custom. Retailers and businesses can only thrive if they offer something people want. There needs to be a healthy balance of monitoring customer feedback and continually striving to improve.