onlineshoppingby Mike Glynn, director of MG Retail Consulting

Someone recently commented that there would be no need for shops in twenty years’ time. So with that in mind how does that look for today’s retailer. Whilst, some may be fortunate, and astute enough to own their buildings, many will be paying rent, and tied into a term agreement. The flip side of ownership however is resale and flexibility of use, which of course is dependent upon location. I don’t subscribe to this but believe that the future store isn’t far away.

Next is the rising price of product due to outside influences such as BREXIT and the American Presidential election that have affected currency values, and ultimately the cost of goods traded. Then behind all of that lies the politics of trading agreements and debt management of the NHS namely cuts.

So how does the traditional retailer compete, your life plan is in your business and to make matters worse you are now competing with AMAZON and ARGOS who bring with them massive brand awareness and distribution efficiency. These are two things that the industry isn’t well known for.

The whole area of health independence and a growing population in this market makes it also the fastest growing market segment, and therefore more attractive to mainstream retailers as a niche. The future

of product delivery is changing wherever the human element can be removed by technology it is then replaced by something that is working 24/7. The way in which they capture information isn’t by written forms when the customer contacts you it’s by the customer’s behaviour. Not only through their own companies but through wholly owned sub companies looking at different buying patterns.

The question is how are you going to compete with an online superpower that
is just starting to make inroads into the health retail market. And let’s not forget our homegrown competition Argos that
a lot of the target segment will be familiar with and trust. It’s not all about 24/7 service and delivery within 24 hours but in a world where we constantly on the go, anything that makes our life easier to cope with at the click of a button we will welcome and embrace.

This is the first of two columns by Mike. Be sure to catch the March/April issue of TradePoint Magazine.