I’m really happy to be investing in Down Your High Street and, in doing so, helping to empower independent retailers to take advantage of consumers’ multichannel shopping requirements. Down Your High Street is a new initiative which brings independent stores online, helping them exhibit what they can offer customers alongside the big retailers.
Shopping on our high streets is an enormous part of our recreational economy, and that space isn’t going to be filled by the faster option of ordering online. The truth is that there’s a place for both online and in-store businesses in our economy, and it’s exciting to be involved in that shift in the market.
Britain needs to embrace its future as a multi-channel economy, and accept that customers choose experiences as much as they choose products. Rather than viewing high streets as on the way out, we should understand that e-tail and retail complement each other and give the customer a range of options to engage with the way they shop.
I’ve been talking to Daniel Whytock, the founder of Down Your High Street, and he believes that independent shop owners deserve a “level playing field” that provides them with all the tools to build their online presence to a national status, which is something I really agree with.
There will always be a place for ‘bricks and mortar’ stores – but equally, there will always be a place for speedy, efficient online shopping. We live in exciting times, and by celebrating this diversification we can work with what our customers really want to ensure a great future for stores and shoppers alike. I’m putting my money, and my advice, where my mouth is – because Britain’s high streets are here to stay. It certainly isn’t dying. Down Your High Street is a brilliant concept and I’m proud to be a part of its journey.