Over at Bdaily, Jacqueline de Rojas has a missive for the great British high street: innovate or die. With the recent fall of several household name brands, Jacqueline says that the time for innovation is now.
Since the start of the year we’ve seen the decline and fall of Jessops, HMV and most recently Blockbusters; all household names who are facing administration.
It is certainly sad to see the likes of HMV, a chain which used to be a firm favourite with the consumer, falling on seriously hard times with thousands of jobs at stake. In the face of strong online and download competition coupled with a testing economic climate which has dented consumer confidence, there are many variables which dictate the success or failure of these businesses. Central, though, is the case for embracing innovation to harness the new online marketplace. Without this it is hard, seemingly impossible to survive in such troubled times.
Any retail company which fails to embrace ‘online technologies’ is likely to run at risk. Adapting to massively changing consumer demands, which quickly switched to instant online music services as they became available through Amazon, iTunes and online music streaming sites such as Spotify and Last FM has cost HMV its future. The administration news confirms that it has been unable to react to this new and highly competitive market. Jessops and Blockbusters are simply other examples of high street stores which have failed to innovate and embrace new technology and multi-channel strategies.
To have any chance of turning around their fortunes retailers must be prepared to make bold decisions right now, embrace new technologies to reach their markets and to find more effective ways of working. Progressive ideas at pace are needed. This may mean radical change – but there are no sacred cows when it comes to the UK high street.
Customers are no longer willing to stand in queues, instead preferring to place orders online or through mobile applications. So placing more emphasis on their online business and multi-channel strategy is critical to survival.
Now more than ever, high street retailers must learn from the mistakes of others and not bury their heads in the sand; it seems to be a clear case of innovate or die.