2030: Dead end for the High Street as we know it thanks to e-commerce?

The high street as we know it could be dead by 2030, according to a report issued this week.

As UK weekly online shopping reaches £1bn, the report – by e-commerce delivery specialist ParcelHero – reveals home shopping could wipe out 50% of town centre stores, and spell the end for many well-known retailers by 2030.

UK shoppers’ weekly online spending has increased 26.8% on 2015 – and ParcelHero says the death of the High Street is much nearer than people think; the impact of online shopping and home deliveries will mean over half of today’s town centre stores, with all their familiar names, will be a memory.

ParcelHero’s head of consumer research, David Jinks said: ‘The number of familiar High Street names being drowned by the growth of the internet shows no signs of abating as Staples and American Apparel join the ranks of the fallen, and M&S prepares to close 53 stores.”

The reports main findings (which contain both good and bad news for wholesalers) are:

Vanishing stores: Between 2020 and 2030 half of the UK’s existing shop premises will have disappeared. In 1950 there were 600,000 stores in the UK, in 2012 there were 290,000 and just 220,000 will survive by 2020 says The Centre for Retail Research. With home deliveries increasing exponentially, the decade from 2020 to 2030 will see a further 100,000 stores close if this trend continues and e-commerce grows exponentially, leaving just 120,000 shops on our high street.

E-commerce conquers all: By 2030 e-commerce will account for around 40% of all UK retail sales.

Tipping Point: Supermarkets’ physical store sales will slump from 42% to 24% by 2030: and that’s not enough to remain viable, says Jinks. Superstores, department stores and other chains rely on volume because of their small margins. Many well know store brands will reach tipping point, and will vanish from the high street.

Crumbling Department Stores: Department stores have crumbled under the attack of e-commerce; Alders and BHS will not be the only failures. Of the surviving 200 large businesses, 48 business are already labelled in danger and 53 made a loss last year. How long can the sector continue?

Fashion victims: In 2013 alone there was a net loss of 264 fashion stores from our High Street. The online fashion industry could reach £36.2bn by 2030: 63% of the market compared to today’s 21%.

   Estate of the art: There are 17,972 estate agents on UK High Streets. In 2030 there may be none, thanks to the likes of Purple Bricks, Rightmove and Zoopla, which cut out the need for middlemen.

Don’t bank on it: As we move to online banking around 9,000 bank and building society branches have been closed since 1989 – and more closures are planned.

The final chapter: The traditional high street book store industry is collapsing – at a 2.3% sales decline a year; with just 1,071 retail businesses remaining. ParcelHero estimates there will be just 535 left in our major towns and cities by 2030.

Cannibalising sales: John Lewis is one company pushing ahead online: 25% of its sales are now through the internet. Tesco’s revenue is £2.9bn online, second only to Amazon. E-commerce could save well-known brands: but these sales will be at the expense of companies’ own physical stores. Many retailers are congratulating themselves on better than expected sales over Christmas – but this included a 19% increase in online sales.

   And in good news for wholesalers… Back to the future: High streets must return to a Victorian model. Shopping should become a more social experience again. Homes must also return to UK high streets to prevent no-go areas after 6pm.

To download the full report, go to: https://www.parcelhero.com/blog/news-updates/2030-dead-end-for-the-high-street



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