Retail in Freefall?

jadkey27's picture

Are we witnessing the collapse of retail selling, as we know it? The internet is, under normal trading circumstances and in the main, cheaper, more efficient, user friendly, open 24 hours permanently, providing the widest possible choice and doesn't answer back!

Sure there's a lot to be said for personal service, if only I could remember the last time I had the kind of experience which most retailers claim to give, but, fail abysmally to deliver. Am I being unfair?

Have you noticed the number of retail units 'to let'? The rate of growth is gathering momentum fast and won't be slowing down anytime soon.

The whole retail concept needs to be analysed, examined and restructured before it reaches the point of no return, if it hasn't already! The majority of what we are experiencing is attributable to one simple thing - greed. The greed of shareholders, the greed of major corporations steamrollering small private companies in their attempt to achieve total dominance in any given market sector, the greed of landlords charging exorbitant rents for retail premises, the greed of banks offering an endless money supply to people and companies who have no chance of repaying. What an absolute shambles. Am I ringing any bells out there??

Well, the gravy train has stuttered to a halt and everybody is going to get, what nobody wants. I just find it so hard to believe that people with considerably more intelligence than myself, allegedly, have dug such a deep hole and are continuing to bury themselves so deeply in the mire.

Bitter? - you bet I am and will continue to be so until such time as somebody takes ownership and some very positive action, not only to reverse this appalling trend, but to ensure that we never experience anything remotely approaching this situation ever again. Any takers?

Your Comments

whilst retailers keep reducing prices at various levels in the pre-christmas & January sales customers will continue to be drawn to the High Streets. My worry is that this is only putting off the inevitable, most retailers (High Street & Internet alike) aren't making enough profit and are simply chasing turnover to achive retrospective discounts. At some point this has to stop, customers will have to pay a more realistic price & retailers will have to put prices up otherwise 2009 will see many more retailers "going to the wall" not through lack of customers but because when it comes to paying their bills they will have made no PROFIT! "Turnover is vanity, profit is sanity"

You forgot to mention the failure of the local councils to provide adequate parking facilites and their greed when they do so. I used to spend one day a week with my daughter and we shopped at a small 'town' close to her. The council car park provided free parking until one week a machine appeared and the parking charge had gone from free (for 2 hours), to £1 for one hour. Result? Never went there again!

My own local town is being regenerated. This has so far lasted 2/3 years and is still not halfway through. It is something of a ghost town, full of banks, building societies, solicitors, pubs, charity shops and estate agents, but very few retail shops. The retail shops that are there, are mostly the big names, probably on some sort of rent deal, as the trade does not justify their existance (VERY quiet over Christmas). Most indiviual (unique) shops have disappeared, presumably squeezed by the high rents. We no longer have a butcher, greengrocer, hardware etc, We also don't have many retail units to let, they are usually replaced by yet another (expensive) charity shop. There is very little choice and because most of the shops are the same big name shops you can find anywhere else, and can be shopped on the internet, shopping has become 'boring' - and how many solicitors can you work your way through in a lifetime. The pubs have now made the (previously quite nice) town something of a no go area at night, I hear they are closing at a rate of knots, but nobody has told this town.

I wonder why they are even bothering. Apart from clothes, which have to be seen, touched and tried on, why would anybody bother to shop on the high street with such restrictions? I wonder how many people shop to 'preview' an item and then purchase (cheaper) online - yes, I am guilty of that too. But of course, shops cannot afford the overheads on that basis. Added to the current economic situation, I worry for the future of the high street and I too see it's demise.

My sister lives in Spain. There, retail is still run on the lines of one shop, one 'product' and supermarkets sell food! This seems to protect the retailer.

I also wonder about people with 'considerably more intelligence than myself' appearing to be so short sighted and can only observe that is seems to be about 'me' and about 'now'. Any future problems, please pass on to the next person, council, generation.

Dear me another whinger and bleater! It’s all someone else’s fault and we like helpless lambs are now suffering the slaughter!
Firstly retail is not about to die but successful retailers will change and adapt, as they always have and do on a regular basis. The internet is just another route to market which will inevitably dilute the total market but as this total market will continue to grow in the long term, if only because of the increasing population, so retail volumes will not be devastated.
Secondly I note with interest you exclude us as consumers from your list of the greedy. Was it not us who took advantage of cheap credit, spiralling house prices and a spend today pay tomorrow culture. All the banks did was facilitate this. Yes there is lots of greed but we are all responsible, some have just got more out of it than others.
Finally if all you have to contribute is bitterness and blame you're right you have nothing of value to give. The ideas from Government and Opposition do offer ways out of this temporary situation. And yes whatever is done the World as we know it will not be the same, we'll need to adapt to many new realities but that only brings new opportunities to those who are open minded leaving the whingers behind.

from reading the above ..and been to the America.
quite simply we becoming another state of USA !

we seem to living for the now and not tomorrow .... till you suddenly find ur self with kids... and learn real meaning of responsibility.

we Brits just hav to get creative - to make money it dont grow on trees.

We brits a drinking nations that must be costing the government +councils alot of money to clear up the mess ...

We Brits are getting fatter we just stuffing our faces ...
no wonder there every rising cost to the NHS to help diabetic , heart failure folk etc.. Who pays for NHS - u and i ...
some us phone 999 to get them to call out someone lost their pet dog !
when real emergency dont get thru !

We Brits gonna have to be more competitive ..and look after our own farmer -producers like the French ... by your goods locally produce ... support your local small family start out business.

how much did u over spend over Xmas ?!
How much does the kids really appreciate the gift they given let alone did they remember who they from ?!?
is it they are greedy or its fault of the parents to given into their demands or to keep up with the Jones next door !

- how many know the old folks down their street struggling on their own barely able to keep heating on to keep warm - never mind a hot meal once a day.. These folks if u ask them ..probably been thru such hardship lots worse .... and live thru the war years....
The country was broke then ... but these people back to work ...and help made what country is today.

i stop buying Xmas card..2yrs ...seen to many .... "wish u all the best etc" i told the tip from a deaf friend .. whom collected other peoples cards... to raise for charity ..and said she writes a A4 letter to her friends telling how the year went ,what joy her kids bring her ,what sadness she feels when she lost a close friends..
the struggle with mortgage payments etc etc
These are letter i will treasure long time to come than some plastic junk "Made In China "

i wish u all the best in 2009 to find ways to save..earn, help the less fortunate around you.


Related articles