The Demise and Rise Of High-Street Retail.
By Rob Fowler | 21 December 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the demise of many great high-street brands. A combination of cash rich, time poor families that don't 'go shopping' as much as they used to, and the unit economics of cheap delivery costs and the major reduction in corporate overheads, have accelerated the exponential rise of online shopping.

I don't see any short-term reversal of this. This trend away from high street shopping, further enhanced by the reduction in commuter's spending in city centre workplaces, will accelerate a complete reappraisal of cities. Retail needs to transition from being a function to an experience, and draw buyers back in to attractive destinations. This could be accelerated with the growth of localism, with local communities supporting local businesses Another possible outcome could be a mass redevelopment of retail and office space into residential space, to deal with the chronic shortage of low-cost housing.

All this could change the face of the Smart City of the future completely, making them far more focussed around human needs than commercial or corporate needs. That said, as the producer of a full-electric large commercial vehicle that's specifically designed for inner city distribution, this transition could have a positive effect on our business model, with many more residents to serve with their online deliveries.

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