The High Street is Changing...

According to the 2017 ParcelHero Industry Report, by 2030 over half of the UK's existing retail stores will have disappeared.

By 2030, e-commerce will account for 40% of all UK retail sales. The High Street as we know it will not look the same. Vast amounts of previously used retail space will now be empty, and in dire need of use.

As physical high street stores are slowly becoming increasingly empty, and e-commerce continues to grow, owners of high street retail premises must prepare to adapt and change.

Victoria Gate Shopping Centre, Leeds

Online Shopping vs High Street Shopping

During 2017 an incredible 5,855 stores saw closure.

This is more closures than any year since 2010, and unfortunately this trend looks to continue, with Q1 of 2018 being described as the toughest first quarter for retail since the recession of 2009.

As this data shows, there has been a decrease in retail sales and an increase in online sales each year since 2007, which directly correlates with the nationwide store closures in that time period.

20p in every £1 is now spent online

On average 16 Stores closed every single day in 2017 in the UK

Over 25% of John Lewis' sales were online in 2017

What Can We Do?

1. We can bring homes back to the high street.
If a portion of high streets were refilled with residential spaces, the UK housing crisis could be fixed using existing spaces.

Additionally, this would increase the number of people likely to use the high street that is available to them. It is estimated that 300,000 to 400,000 new homes could be created by utilising empty shops and the space above them. As shops continue to close at a rapid rate this number looks set to increase. (According to the Federation of Master Builders)

Albion Place, Leeds

Albion Place, Leeds

2. Diversify
Bookstores, Cafes and Beauty Stores were some of the very few store types to see their numbers increase in 2017. Diversification of the high street can attract a wider range of consumer, increasing footfall and bringing life back to the high street.

3. Fragmentation of Existing Spaces

Large floor-plates can be broken down to form alternative branded or specialist retail offers in reduced floor space.
New opportunities can be created through adapting existing buildings to other uses such as leisure, specialist retail, serviced offices, public services and of course residential accommodation.

Solutions for disused retail spaces vary depending on the location and the type of building and configuration. Consideration should also be given to current and emerging markets – resolutions must be viable with regards to economic delivery. 

Should you wish to discuss our ideas further, or discuss a specific project, please feel free to contact us with the details below.

Telephone: 0113 244 5038