The UK business scene is seeing some of it’s huge businesses taken down by a variety of influences.
In the recent case of HMV, it seems to be a combination of high prices and online influences, coupled with the businesses resistance to change in the face of new technologies.
Ironic as that very technology was part of the product that HMV sold.
With the demise of companies like Woolworth, Jessops, Comet and now Blockbusters, we are seeing a change in retail just like the onslaught from the supermarkets in the 60s, and no lesser a threat than that.
Even businesses that should have some form of personal interaction – a clothing retailer for instance – needs to have a good online store, as there is a growing section of society that doesn’t bother to try on clothes. Shoes are the same.
Simple solution here – get a good website!
It seems to me that despite consumers saying that it’s a pity that our UK high streets are dying and that they are all looking the same, it is not the nostalgic rhetoric that drives the consumer £, but the simple convenience of buying with the least amount of effort possible.
Although people love to shop in those stores, they then get home and do their buying on the Internet at better prices.
It’s in times of financial trouble that the consumer becomes much more inflexible about where the £££s will be spent, and a lot more demanding about the services and products they get for their money.
There is a very common phrase that is bandied about in the business world here in Leeds and that is ‘Value Add’ – quite simply it’s the incalculable ‘Extra Mile’ factor that people are looking for – if you are not adding value you are a waste of time/money/resource in the business world at the moment.
Coming back to my original point – is it sad that these monoliths of UK business have dropped off the twig or a symptom of the diverse business world of the 21st century?
My view is the latter – things are only going change at a much faster pace as more and more consumers subscribe to the digital way of shopping.
It was however interesting to read of the success of the ‘Click and Collect’ type services offered by companies such as Argos, as they at the moment seem to be bucking the trend for online shopping. It would appear that although we can’t be bothered to go and browse, we want the products as soon as possible once we’ve decided.
Maybe taking advantage of this is a possible way forward?