Laura Barnes talks about the changing face of the High Street

OPINION: Save our stores

It’s no secret that UK High Streets are struggling at the moment. Over the past few years we’ve seen a number of big retailers fall into administration and I would hate to guess how many independent IT retailers have closed down up and down the country.

We’ve seen a number of projects launch that are trying their hardest to convince consumers to get off the internet and return to their local town centre.

The UK government recently announced that it will hand out discounts on business rates to smaller retailers, including indie PC and tech stores.

Projects such as Independent Retailer Month and, more recently, Small Business Saturday, are encouraging UK shoppers to visit these independent tech stores. But what about the retail space that is already empty?

The government will be halving the rates for new occupants in a bid to get vacant shops on the High Street open again and companies like Nexus Engage are setting up interactive displays showing product ranges and special in-store offers in the area – all in the windows of empty stores. Its recent campaign with Monster proved very successful.The firm set up a window displaying Monster’s £170 headphones, directing shoppers to a nearby John Lewis. The store saw a 300 per cent uplift in sales during the campaign.

I predict that in the near future we’ll be seeing the face of the High Street change from empty property on every corner to gleaming interactive windows directing us to the nearest retailer best suited to our needs.

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