Information - Britain's changing retail environment

There can be little doubt that the retail environment of today is radically different to that of 100 years ago but perhaps more importantly the widespread use of the internet, realistically less than 20 years old, has significantly changed the retail landscape again. Add in the current economic downturn, which could be argued as an accelerator of further change, and a number of prominent retailers recently going into administration. It is clear how we shop is changing and is continuing to evolve what does this mean for the things we need and desire? What becomes of our High Streets ? What of the out-of-town shopping centres? What limits the ubiquity of Internet shopping? These are all questions that we intend to examine in our documentary.

E - Commerce

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With the comparatively recent rise and increasing accessibility of e-commerce consumers are presented with more choice and information than ever before when purchasing products. This has had a massive impact on the retail sector taking sales of a wide range of goods away from the traditional physical bricks and mortar outlets and making them available online.

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    The internet has the ability to without question offer the widest possible choice in all types of items ranging from everyday groceries to buying houses. With the internet and it’s e-commerce everything has become only a few clicks away allowing items that once were rare and unusual and subsequently challenging to acquire are now almost as easy to find as the most widely available items. The internet is always open 24/7 and can be accessed from almost anywhere in the world. Consumers can clearly see the wide range of choices available, price, reseller reputation & delivery options. However delivery is the internet’s shortcoming, everything is virtual and will not arrive for 3-4 business days. With more sophisticated shipping technology and the ability for next day delivery rapidly becoming available from more and more retailers illustrates an attempt to address the issue. The internet gives consumers many advantages but will never allow purchases to have their products now like the out-of-town shopping centers and high-street offer.

The High Street

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The High Street and markets were up until recently the only place that people could purchase anything, from the every day necessity to life's luxuries. Shopping in the high street has changed radically over the last 30 years first with the introduction of out-of-town shopping centres and in more recent years the online shopping.

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    Should the High Street cater to leisure and personal services rather than its traditional retail moving forward? The High Street however does have the ability to offer local restaurants, cafes & bars that the internet can not offer and are much closer to the majority of residential areas than the out of town shopping centers. The High Street still faces issues with its problematic access by cars and steep car parking.

Out Of Town Shopping Centers

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Out of town shopping centres are massive and have a substantial number of shops. Coinciding with the copious amounts of shoppes results in a considerable number of shoppers radically changing the economical dynamic compared to other outlets like the High Street.

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    The economies of scale in out-of-town shopping centers means that shops have the ability to and do offer complete ranges of products. One of the largest appeal to out-of-town shopping centers is the ability to see and purchase entire rangers of products. Consumers have the ability to see different sizes, colors, and product rangers giving purchasers a a much more extensive selection. Many of the out of town shopping centers offer a flagship level of dedicated stores with product specialists and the ability to offer a magnificent brand experience due to there size and footfall.