Friday 8 June 2018
AS HOUSE of Fraser becomes the latest shop to hit trouble when it announced 31 store closures and thousands of job cuts, Dr Gordon Fletcher looks at what has gone wrong for the High Street in the UK.
It is just the latest in a list of closures on the High Street in 2018, with rumors that Poundland is also in trouble.
Dr Gordon Fletcher, retail expert at the University of Salford Business School, comments on Department store chain House of Fraser closing 31 of its 59 stores.
Dr Fletcher said: “Today's announcement can be seen as an opportunity for House of Fraser to reinvent itself as a landmark retail destination in the UK.
“One of the challenges for the House of Fraser company has been the pull towards the middle ground of retailing where it has found itself competing with a wide variety of brands and retailers for increasingly discerning and well-informed customers.
“With fewer stores there is now an opportunity to focus on what has made the House of Fraser an icon of the high street and to deliver on this promise to consumers.
“The emphasis for stores needs to be on creating experiences, offering variety and building services that satisfy loyal consumers. The location and physical space of the store should be the opportunity to offer services that cannot be found or delivered online.
“We are really in the middle of the end for the big name high street brands. Many brands have already fallen for being over-stretched, unresponsive to change, overwhelmed by the complexities of online retailing or simply naive.
“However, new brands will emerge from the changing landscape but the purpose of the high street itself is also changing.”
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