High Street Sales Continue to Dwindle - But is it all Doom and Gloom for Retail?


Recent figures are showing that more and more people are turning to digital shopping over the high street, with some 2 billion people set to be digital shoppers by 2019.

James Lowther James Lowther Media Assistant Manchester Retail Footfall high street

As of March 2017, high street sales have continued to drop for the fourth consecutive month. An online boom is causing digital sales to have jumped up 16% in 2016, but the effect on the high street is drastic – with this same period causing retailers to shut down at a rate of 5 per day.[1]

With so many options for digital shoppers in 2017 – from Instagram’s ‘Shop Your Feed’ feature to the slew of YouTuber brand promotions, it’s easier than ever to shop with the press of a finger, without the hassle of a trip to the shops. The ‘convenience’ factor is an important one, and it isn’t being helped by the struggling economy. “Retail sales in the UK have contracted quarter-on-quarter for the first time in more than three years,” says Gavin Fletcher of the Financial Times in a recent article, “as prices rise at their fastest pace since 2012 in response to the weakness of the pound.”[2]

But stores are doing their best to fight back by offering in-store only discounts and utilising an omni-channel approach. Facebook and Google are paving the way for shopping experiences to cross the boundaries from digital to in-store sales with Facebook’s ‘Local Awareness’ campaigns suggesting nearby stores based on a customer’s location and Google displaying local business’s information from a simple search. And it’s easier than ever for the stores to capitalise on this with mobile advertising tailoring campaigns to drive people into stores, and then tracking the in-store conversions right from the mobile’s location.


[1] Canvas8, ‘UK High Street Sales in a Four Month Slump’, April 18 2017

[2] Gavin Jackson; Financial Times; 21st April 2017 (https://www.ft.com/content/60f371b2-266e-11e7-a34a-538b4cb30025)

James Lowther James Lowther Media Assistant Manchester Retail Footfall high street
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