Out of town retail premises proving tempting for shops

Half of retailers considering leaving the high street, says survey

Just over half (53 per cent) of UK retailers would not consider leaving the high street for cheaper out of town premises, according to a survey by cloud based retail software provider Cybertill.

Following a Centre for Retail Research report that found 20 per cent of shops could close within five years, Cybertill surveyed 640 retailers from a range of sectors, including bicycle retail. It found that around one in five retailers would consider moving premises to out of town locations whereas 28 per cent were undecided.

Reasons given for wanting to move to out of town locations including: lower rents, free parking, better access for deliveries, more space and an environment that is better suited to multi-channel retail. The main reason for not wanting to move to out of town locations was less passing trade.

Cybertill’s survey also quizzed retailers on their investment plans for the future. Just under half said they plan to invest in ecommerce over any other sales channel whereas just one in six retailers plan to invest in stores. Cybertill said that apparent growing importance of ecommerce and online was also reflected in the fact that 40 per cent of respondents also sell on eBay, with more than one in five retailers selling on Amazon.

“The high street is struggling with many retailers complaining about excessive rent and rates," said Ian Tomlinson, Cybertill CEO.

"This survey clearly shows how retailers are focusing more online than ever before. Retailers will leave the high street in droves and relocate if it helps them deploy a more successful multi-channel approach to retail where they can trade online, in-store and over the phone.”


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