TOWN CENTRE AND HIGH STREET
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT & REGENERATION
LEADING CONSULTANCY IN THE WEST OF ENGLAND AND WALES, BRINGING FRESH THINKING FOR BUSINESSES, DEVELOPERS AND LOCAL AUTHORITIES VIA BIDs (BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICTS) AND OTHER INNOVATIVE PARTNERSHIP APPROACHES
TOWN CENTRES & HIGH STREETS - THE SOLUTION TO NEARLY EVERYTHING...
HOW TO COMPETE WITH AMAZON ET AL?
'It's all about the experience...'
Many years ago ... even decades(!) ... I worked for a top end 'retail design strategist'. They advised many of the biggest and best from Boots to Sainsburys etc. We spent many hours thinking and discussing how retailers and 'brands' can compete with each other and with the growing threat of the internet.
Much brighter people than myself came up with a robust means of considering shops and what they meant to the customer, in the context of their competitors and their own decision making process. These were captured in compelling summary diagrams such as the 'customer journey' or the 'brand essence' which provided the platform for insightful discussions and eventually well informed strategies.
Both are useful and interesting tools however the latter especially - see diagrams opposite. After considering in detail and then synthesising down the fundamentals (competition, credibility etc) consideration could be given to the business proposition - ie the culture, customers (target), the offer and finally the experience (whilst in the store).
Competing with Amazon et al? In most of these respects we are not sure it can be done on any meaningful scale - clearly the choice and convenience of Amazon is extraordinary. However when it comes an enjoyable experience, having a nearby place that is the heart of the community, attractive and enjoyable to visit and offers a range of services that cannot be delivered via the internet - then a good high street remains hard to beat.
If you want your high street to be around in a year, decade or century (perhaps) then focus on improving that experience and filling your empty shops with services that cannot yet be delivered online.