Monday, 26 November 2012

High Street to 'e'- Street

HMV store

Comet store

The BBC recently reported on the ongoing struggles of some the UK most recognisable High Street brands.

With a list of brands that include Habitat, Comet, HMV, GAME, JJB Sports and Thorntons, it doesn't make happy reading.

Habitat storeReasons for the decline range from the current economic climate, to bad customer services, to the impact of competition.

And yet there is 'e'-hope for some of these brands.

Take Comet for example. Management Today reported that Appliances Online has made a bid for Comet's online operation. Appliances Online claim that Comet lost out because of  

‘a poor attitude to is customers, deficient delivery service and inadequate after-sales offers'.

And if having a good attitude to customers is reflected by Facebook 'Likes' then we have a clear winner in those terms

Appliances Online 582k Likes vs

Comet 35k

But this is not the only business model that potentially works better online after a poor bricks and mortar story

That High Street favourite Woolworths is now trading successfully on line. Habitat kept only a few stores after the purchase by Homebase but again has maintained their online store . And the list has many more including Hawkin's Bazaar as well as HMV who are launching an online ecommerce site to combat their nemesis Amazon

But as I've talked about before, it's not one way traffic.  By being more Customer Centric both High Street stores such as M&S and John Lewis, as well as ebay, Amazon and Ocado see that often playing out both channels can be to their advantage. Rumours persist about Amazon and a high street presence and ebay had a UK store ( for about 5 days admittedly) 

It's not about Physical versus Digital. It's about doing what's right for the customer

BBC report can be found here High Street retailers: Who has been hit hardest?

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