Laura Barnes takes a look at the projects that are hoping to bring consumers back to the High Street

OPINION: Excitement on the High Street

The convenience of online shopping means consumers can sit in a comfy chair and browse through thousands of products until they find something that catches their eye.

Similarly, those who are looking for a specific product need not run in and out of various shops in the High Street enquiring whether they stock it. They can simply type what they’re looking for into a search box online and find the item in seconds.

While this is all very convenient, it’s also very dull. So it’s exciting to see some innovations on the High Street.

Dixons Travel has unveiled a new ‘concept store of the future’ which has giant floating screens, interactive catalogues and a flexible design that has the ability to change with seasonal trends. Dixons has also confirmed that some of these elements will make their way into the firm’s High Street stores (read more on page seven).

As well as the promise of futuristic Minority Report technology-esque stores, PayPal’s new ‘check in’ app is paving the way for a wallet-free High Street.

The app enables shoppers to pay for things using their smartphone. They simply ‘check in’ the participating stores via the app and once at the till, the shop assistant uses the same app on their own device to view the shopper’s PayPal account and photograph and confirm a payment.

The scheme is currently on trial on Richmond High Street in London. If deemed a success, it’s likely that this new payment method will be available across many areas of the UK (read page 27 for the full story).

All of these experimental developments are making the High Street a thrilling environment to be a part of right now, and prove that there is plenty of life in bricks and mortar retail.

Here’s to many more High Street innovations in the future.

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