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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : January 24, 2017

2030 and the death of Britain's town centers

Figures released this week by the UK's Office of National Statistics, coupled with research from ParcelHero, deliver chilling news for the country's high street retailers and consumers alike.

by Helen Leggatt

According to the Office of National Statistics, high street retail figures in the UK saw their biggest decline in over four years (2% down from November 2016) during December, 2016. Meanwhile, online sales grew 21.3% YoY.

Recent research from courier service ParcelHero suggests that, by 2030, ecommerce will have forever changed the UK's town centers, with many familiar stores vanished as ecommerce takes over.

'2030: The Death of the High Street', authored by David Jinks, ParcelHero's head of consumer research, highlights the changes that have already occurred in Britain's town centers, and what can be expected in the coming decades.

According to the report, there were nearly 600,000 stores in the UK in 1950, dropping to under 400,000 by 1971 when supermarkets arrived on the scene. By 2012, there were just 290,000 shops left and, by 2030, it is forecast that just 120,000 will survive the ecommerce onslaught.


"The era of the internet will have a massive impact on the High Street, with many brands, and even types of stores, disappearing by 2030. Home deliveries, or drop offs to handy collection points and lockers, will spell the end for many famous names on town center shop fronts," says the report.

If ParcelHero's forecast pans out, Britain's high streets will, within the next decade, consist mainly of charity stores, pop-up e-cig shops, pound stores, coffee shops and bookmakers.

"It may seem alarmist to predict the death not just of familiar store names, but of whole sectors of retail outlets; especially when we consider that the online retail spend is currently just 15.2% of all UK retail sales, according to the Center for Retail research," continues the report. "That might not sound a great deal; but this time last year it was just 13.5%. For 2016 that figure is expected to climb to 16.8%. E-commerce's slice of the retail pie is growing exponentially. At this rate of growth, the internet will account for 40% of all retail sales by 2030."

Tags: ecommerce, Internet, research, retail, trends, UK

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