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We need to talk about shops

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Are shops still important – and if so what do we do about them? That’s the debate that’s shaping up at a time when one in seven of the UK’s shops stand empty, according to today’s Local Data Company report, while at the same time an important role emerges for shops in the anticipated omnichannel future of shopping.

That omnichannel future is already starting to emerge – but primarily for those retailers who are thinking ahead and planning for a digital future (such as Argos, which we today report on as it appoints its new voice of the customer). And even those retailers are likely to need fewer shops than they currently have.

What happens to the rest may now move into focus as the spotlight falls on the omnichannel casualties. For some empty shops, says the LDC in its Shopped Out report, which we cover today, there will be demolition. For others, there will be reinvention as leisure facilities. And for still others, we predict, there will be diversity as more independent shops open and more pureplays launch outlets. But that needs to happen not only in leafy, well-to-do suburbia but in the areas of the country that, today’s report suggests, are being hit hardest by emptying shopping centres and high streets and where the spending revival seen by today’s Barclaycard figures may not yet be hitting home.

Today we also report on retailers from Charles Tyrwhitt to Hobbs, and bring the latest preview of our annual conference, Internet Retailing Conference 2013 (IRC 2013). See our newsletter stories below for more.

Our webinars

We have an upcoming webinar to let you know about. On Wednesday September 11, Silverpop explains how personalised multichannel experiences will ensure your customers love you to death in Behavioural marketing and how to get your customers to love you. The event takes place at 3pm – register and find out more by clicking here.

More information about our webinar programme is available here.


The 8th Internet Retailing Conference will be held on October 16 in London, when keynote speakers will include Sir Stuart Rose, chairman of Ocado and Dressipi, and Laura Wade-Geary, executive director, multichannel ecommerce, Marks & Spencer. For more details, visit

Today’s stories

Time for action to boost town centres in the age of omnichannel retail: LDC report

Online spending up by 9.9% but leisure benefits ahead of retail from in-store spending growth: Barclaycard

IRC 2013 PREVIEW The Business conference stream

Argos appoints new ‘voice of the customer’

Charles Tyrwhitt opts for new testing technology to boost customer experience

Ten new retail signings for Rakuten LinkShare

Read More

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