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Why the high street still matters: the rise and rise of multichannel retailing

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It’s ironic that in the week that planning minister Nick Boles hit the headlines for appearing to consign the high street to history, today’s Internet Retailing newsletter should feature quite so many shops. Whether it’s the new concept digital-in-store Dixons Travel shop, the fast growth of high street sales in the recent heatwave or pureplay WAE+’s move to test out physical retail through the flash sale, the store certainly seems here to stay.

For in this fast-paced and fast-changing retail world, Boles’ supposed view that the high street is over is already itself outdated. Now the emerging truth appears to be that shoppers want to shop online – but they also want to buy from shops, where they can both touch and feel goods before they buy them. And, increasingly, retailers are using their shops as an additional and relatively cheap point of online delivery, through collect from store services. As we’ve said many times before (excuse us if we bang on yet again), we see the future of the high street as somewhere that will still be very relevant, as long as it adapts to the reality of digital commerce. We also see it as a more varied place than those clone town high streets that got such a bashing in the 1990s, as smaller businesses that started online take over shops that became vacant as the chains moved out. It’s a work in progress, but a very relevant and interesting one. Find out more about all these stories in the newsletter below, where we also report on UK’s supermarkets’ multichannel-driven performance in Europe.


We have two upcoming dates in our series of free-to-attend webinars to let you know about today.

On Tuesday August 13, Jim Davidson, manager of marketing research at Bronto, joins us for Bam! Ka-Pow! Power-packing your post-purchase programs. During the event, to be held at 2pm, he will be considering how post-purchase email marketing can help to ensure long-term customer loyalty and repeat sales. It’s an under-used part of the customer lifecycle, he says, that can give a strong boost to online sales and conversion by talking directly to the multi-device, multi-tasking consumer. Find out more on the Bronto webinar page, where you can also register for free.

And on Thursday September 5, Nuance focuses on customer service in, Creating satisfied customers – meet Nina Web, the new face of online customer experience. Tim Atkinson, business development director at Nuance, is the speaker for this event, to be held at 11am. He’ll be showing how Nuance’s intelligent virtual assistant can talk to, serve and listen to customers around the clock, and demonstrating how it works for existing customers including Coca Cola and Michelin. Click here for more information and to register.

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

UK’s four largest supermarkets among European retail elite: Kantar Retail

Online sales slow in July as the high street gathers pace

americangolf expands online presence across Europe

Shops on internet-hit high streets could be converted to housing

WAE+ takes the flash sale offline

Dixons Travel unveils new digital-in-store concept

Read More

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