Lightbox Loves: Is this the beginning of the end for our high street?

11/06/2018

With news breaking last week that long standing, high street favourite House of Fraser is having to shut over 30 stores across the UK next year due to bad custom – including flagship Oxford Street store – we decided to look at the main reason behind this, what it means for other brands, and the effect on jobs that comes from decisions like this.

2018 hasn’t just been a bad year for House of Fraser, with other high street stores like M&S Maplin and Toys R Us also experiencing part or full closure, and ONS (2018) reported earlier this year that all retail sectors saw decline in the first three months of the year, despite a slight pick up in February.

The main culprit to the demise of these loved stores is the growth of the internet and specific e-commerce giants like Amazon who promise speedy delivery and easy returns; making the online option arguably the easier choice in modern-day time pressures. According to Kantar TGI data, British adults (aged 15+) are twice as likely to have bought something online in the last month compared to 5 years ago:

One of the biggest problems with the closure of stores isn’t the fact that individuals won’t be able to buy goods, as we’ve seen that things can still be purchased online, but it’s the loss of jobs.

If we continue with the House of Fraser example, it was reported that the closures next year would mean 6,000 job cuts including brand and concession roles (BBC, 2018). So, alongside the closure itself, this is likely to dent the brand’s reputation even further. In fact, last week alone, 16 million impressions were made on Twitter with people talking about job losses as a result of House of Fraser’s decision (Crimson Hexagon, 2018).

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