Eva Pascoe | Digital Retailer

April 11th, 2021
The boyz are back in town!


Speculating about customers returning to High Street? Don’t – too many variables to predict footfall, not least as increasing number of companies are coming out against office work and for Work From Home. Future is not ‘forecasted’ or predicted, it is built – so let’s get building.

Here our top companies that are joining The Grand Return party

Google for retail

If you have a store, there is a good chance that someone who is passing by may need something you sell. How do you reach them?

A new UK start up Near Street offers an easy way to even small stores to feed into Google Shopping. If you are in need of a part for your bike and stuck on Old Street, type in the part into Google and NearSt will feed will ensure you can see what parts are  in stock in local bike shops. A fresh round of funding will be used for getting more stores feeding in – it is a no brainer, give them a call.

Pop Ups pop back

If you don’t have a store yet, do not despair. You can get a pop up once the restrictions are down via Appear Here.

Flexibility is everything as we just have a limited understanding how many punters will actually make it to town. As Google, Facebook, Amazon and hundreds of big employers are shifting to Work From Home, we will need to work out new business models from scratch . What type of shop makes sense in big town centres, which may be affected by lower office turnout, versus smaller High Streets? Too early to say so Appear Here is helping to do the juggling without making a long term lease commitment. 

Al fresco shopping

Chances are, the shoppers will prefer to drive to safe, mostly outdoors shopping centres like Bicester Village in Oxfordshire. The stores there are large, with wide open fronts allowing good ventilation. Perceived health risk will be the battle ground between department stores (hard to ventilate) and retail parks.

Biscuiteers are banking on al fresco retail attractions and ease of access plus healthy layout of Bicester. Opening in a few days, the brand is taking the plunge and opening a pop up that will introduce the brand to the countryside folk.

If the tourists come later in the season, it will be just icing on the cake!

Better late than never

One of my favourite brand has been looking for a new store so long that we call them NonSoon. But at last, Monsoon has found a new location on Marylebone and will be opening a few format in May

Brave new world of “socially distanced fitting rooms” is looming (no me neither), but new formats need to be tested as retail is not built on opinions but on solid pilots. Great location and what we have seen of the designs, looks fabulous. With the new denim 80% sustainable collection, eco homeware and as always, fresh and relevant designs,  it should be a slam dunk!

Lead your pack

Health and fitness will be a new big driver as pandemic might be relenting, but we know it may be back. Your fitness is your best line of defence and streaming  fitness classes on demand are making their way to middle class households across London.

Peleton and Zwift are leading the charge, with Peleton revamping their London stores in preparation for new wave of fitness fans. The clothes are good too, and compete well on price with Lululemon or Sweaty Betty.  Triathlon is the fastest growing sport in UK, also amongst women so a try-before-you-buy as well as service and clothing centre will do well. Check it out and get those races in.

Next week

Facial recognition for good- how new London Artificial Intelligence start up is helping retail staff to enforce face masks in the store and be nice about it.

Email Eva@never.com for your Grand Return Tips

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