THE FUTURE OF RETAIL IS BRIGHT
There is an increasing demand for shops in the Gauntlet in Glastonbury, that seems to be replicated in many town centres throughout the Uk. This could indicate a return to the High street by many shoppers.
There are many other factors that are instrumental in increasing retail take up such as Business rates reductions /adjustments on thresholds , parking concessions,and an increase in yields for investors. Many traditional Buy to let investors have recently been abandoning their Buy to Let for investment in the commercial /retail sector.
Of course one if the most expensive costs of having a shop is the staffing and In the Far East there are shops popping up whereby technology is replacing staff. Serving customers through smart technology which can be operated through a website or the shop itself means that there is no need to staff, saving a large portion of their overheads. There are self service / smart shops developing all over the world and that looks to be influencing the future of retail. The upfront initial costs are high but after the set up soon gives a return on the investment.
Whether this new trend will sustain or whether it be just a craze remains to be seen , but we all want our town centres to not just survive but to thrive and it makes sense that the combination of the physical shop and technology surely points to a brighter more positive future.