ONS retail statistics reveal December’s High Street retail figures slumped to their biggest fall for over four years, while online sales rose 21.3%.
They support the findings of a new report that home shopping will wipe out 50% of town centre stores by 2030.
High Street sales collapsed by nearly 2% in December 2016 – the most vital sales period of the year – against November’s figures – even as online sales grew 21.3% against the previous December.
ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks MILT, says this proves the findings of its new report – 2030: The Death of the High Street – that within 13 years the impact of online shopping and home deliveries will mean over half of today’s town centre stores, with all their familiar names.
Says David: ‘Analysts are calling December’s High Street sale’s figures ‘disastrous’ and there’s little wonder. As our report reveals, the disappearance of BHS, Staples, Banana Republic and American Apparel from Britain’s streets are just the tip of the iceberg of the peril facing town centre shops. Home deliveries are set to destroy our town centres by 2030 unless there is an urgent rethink in the way we use our High Streets. Planners and retailers need to wake up to the e-commerce Revolution, and plan for a different kind of town centre; with fewer shops and more homes, restaurants and places of entertainment.’
David adds: ‘Between 2020 and 2030 half of the UK’s existing shop premises will have disappeared. 100,000 stores will close, leaving just 120,000 shops on our high street. And that’s because by 2030 e-commerce will account for around 40% of all UK retail sales.
‘For example, our department stores are collapsing, 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?’
Continues David: ‘Clothing stores are the latest fashion victims, with Banana Republic even now slipping from our streets. 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%.’
Retailers are fighting back through their own internet sites. John Lewis is one company pushing ahead online: 25% of its sales are now through the internet; that’s more than its Oxford Street flagship sells. And Tesco’s revenue is £2.9bn online, second only to Amazon. But David says: ‘In a way this is cannibalism; these sales will be at the expense of companies’ own physical stores.’
Read the full Parcel Hero report here