The Changing Face of Retail
High-street retailers in the UK have been put under serious pressure during COVID-19 lockdowns, accelerating the 'death of the high street' phenomenon. A number of high-profile retailers disappeared from the high street for good in 2020.
- Mothercare. After 59 years in business, Mothercare collapsed in 2020 and all of its 79 UK stores were closed. 2,500 jobs were lost as a result.
- Carphone Warehouse. Dixons Carphone closed all 531 of its outlets in the UK in March, leading to the loss of around 3,000 jobs. The company's Chief Executive Alex Baldock said that its losses, totalling over £90m a year, were 'unsustainable' and said that their focus would now be shifting to online sales.
- Virgin Media. Bosses at Virgin Media have said that there are no plans to reopen its 53 stores in the UK after lockdown restrictions are eased on 15th June. Instead, operations will shift to online and many of its staff will continue to work from home.
- Cath Kidston. 900 jobs were lost in April as Cath Kidston decided to close all 60 of its UK stores. Several months later, it was revealed that its parent company Baring Private Equity Asia had provided Cath Kidston with new funding to 'return as an online-only operation. Cath Kidston's flagship store, located in London's Piccadilly, was reopened as an 'experiential store', designed to showcase products that it intended to sell online. The company has now adopted a brand-led, digital-first strategy.
- Laura Ashley. 70 Laura Ashley stores were closed as a result of the pandemic. The 67-year-old business was bought by Gordon Brothers, an investment firm, and will continue to trade online in the UK.
- TM Lewin. In the early part of 2020, menswear retailer TM Lewin was bought by Stonebridge Private Equity, who soon announced plans to close the firm's UK-wide network of 66 shops. A spokesperson for Stonebridge Private Equity said that all sales would now take place via the internet in a bid to 'save the brand in the post-Covid retail environment.'
It is clearly essential that all retail businesses must have a solid online presence in order to continue to trade successfully. As an e-commerce specialist, Brickweb can help YOUR business to build a strong digital strategy, allowing it to not only survive but to thrive in the new retail landscape.
Find out more about Brickweb, along with the comprehensive suite of solutions and services we provide, on our website. For further information and advice, please get in touch with our dedicated customer service team.