Several major high street retailers have reported declines in their profits including the likes of Debenhams, shopping centre owners Hammersons and most recently Mothercare, who have confirmed they are closing 50 stores as part of a rescue plan. Reports also state the catering and hospitality industry are being affected with many restaurant branches such as Prezzo and Jamie’s Italian closing down. With so much gloom, consumers are left to wonder when and if this doom will turn into a bloom!
For some retailers, this troublesome time is the last item on their agenda and are actually thriving. So, who are they, why are they doing well and what does this mean for the consumer footfall entering these facilities?
As we know middle or mass market is difficult in the high street, you have to look at the premium end and the discount end for happy endings. Analysts put JD Sports, John Lewis, Hotel Chocolat and Superdry as retailers doing well, and at the other end of the market, fashion chain ‘Primark’ is leaving others for dust with a very simple strategy “Pile ‘em high, Sell ‘em cheap” says an analyst from BRC.
Consumers will either buy goods as a result of brand loyalty or simply because it’s a cost decision. Of course some retailers are capitalising on this cost decision and are expanding. Leading the charge, Aldi and Lidl. Lidl has 700 stores in the UK and plans to open 50 more this year, and Aldi has 750 stores with plans to open 70 this year. The expansion programme will forecast a significant increase in footfall into the stores. So whilst we notice a paradox of some stores shutting shop, the footfall it seems will likely remain unaffected and the duty to keep these consumers safe in their stores will still remain paramount.
With the prospects of these expansion programmes for retail giants like Lidl and Aldi at an all time high, and high-street stores continuing to perform even in these difficult times, there is definite scope for others to follow suite and turn the gloom into a bloom!
Interestingly Entrance Matting takes the first hit from retail footfall and at Intrasystems we know that quality Entrance Matting that combats dirt and moisture is essential. It reduces slips and trips, protects internal floorcoverings and keeps them looking visually attractive. Keeping the stores looking clean and fresh and keeping the customers safe are two key factors in retaining footfall in the stores and Intrasystems are pleased to play their part in making this happen for our Clients.