According to a new report by leading UK courier Parcelhero, thanks to the impact of ecommerce and home deliveries, the death of the high street may be much nearer than people think in the UK. The report suggests that in just 14 years, by 2030, the town centres that the UK knows today with all of their familiar names will be a memory. Amongst the findings of the report:
- E-commerce conquers all: By 2030 e-commerce will account for around 40% of all UK retail sales.
- Between 2020 and 2030, 50% of the UK’s existing shop premises will have disappeared. In 1950 there were 600,000 stores in the UK, in 2012 there were 290,000 and just 220,000 will survive by 2020. By 2030, with the ever increasing use of ecommerce, there could be just 120,000 shops left on the UK’s high streets.
- Physical store sales in supermarkets will drop significantly from 42% to 24% by 2030. For some, this may not be financially viable and it could see some well known store brands vanish.
- Fashion will continue to move from the high street to online, continuing the trend for stores to be disappearing from UK high streets. In 2013 alone there was a net loss of 264 fashion stores from UK high streets. Today, online accounts for 21% of fashion sales, but this is expected to grow to 63% by 2030.
- The impact of Rightmove and Zoopla could mean that today’s 17,972 estate agents could all have disappeared by 2030.
- Thanks to online banking, more and more banks will close on the high street, adding to the 9000 closures that have occurred since 1989.
- The report suggests that homes should return to the high street to avoid streets becoming no-go areas after 6pm and that high streets must return to a Victorian model and make shopping more of a social experience.
The report concludes:
“So the High Street will survive in one form or another in 2030, and perhaps as a more vibrant area than many are today. But there is little doubt we are currently in a town centre store ‘extinction event’ and that the familiar street of today is reaching a dead end. There will be vastly fewer shops in 13 years’ time, and many of the retail store names we are familiar with will no longer be found. Don’t go to your town centre expecting to buy a novel in the book store; a doll from the toyshop, trousers from the fashion shop or to use the loos in a department store. Because the odds are, they won’t be there.”
More details of the report can be found on the Parcelhero website.