Published: 15 January 2021
Why Media identified 2020 as a year that had an extremely positive impact on the growth of the world's e-commerce and digital industry, while new consumers behaviour continued reshaping the future of retail and digital communication. However, DESPITE current news flows it is not all bad news in the world of retail and high street fashion. Many retailers, especially tech savvy operators, are working with Shopping Centre owners to integrate ecommerce.
On 23rd March 2020, all the non-essential retailers were forced to close for the first time to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. Of course, for some retailers, this decision from the UK’s Government was critical in terms of their future - but many with exceptions like Primark having underinvested in digital retailing have prepared and reshaped their businesses. The department stores faced the most significant challenges during lockdown compared to other retailers. However, the latest data indicates that independent stores have been better at surviving lockdowns than large chain stores, as they have moved quick and integrated click and collect and an enhanced online sales platform.
Our Shopping Centre owners and managers have seen some of its retailers reshape their businesses for this trend that will hold them in good stead both short and long term. Why Media as a leading digital marketing agency working with clients in the UK and Europe have identified the latest trend of new retailers opening their stores along with the higher number of enquiries about empty units, we have seen in some cases occupancy increase.
Centro Comercial La Marina in Finestrat, Spain has welcomed seven new retailers in the past couple of months, including first in Finestrat Chocolate store Marcos Tonda, jewellery & accessories brand MOA, Japanese-inspired lifestyle products retailer Miniso and health & beauty brand PÖEMA - we expect a number of new stores Q1 2021 as we enter final negotiations.
Returning to the UK Market, a few new stores have started trading in Woking Shopping Centre since November. These include the UK’s largest pawnbroker H&T Pawnbrokers, independent running specialist The Run Company and even independent Bar and Grill Black & Irons.
It is good to see that the UK’s Government is taking actions to support the country’s retail and hospitality sectors. The recent announcement about a £4.6bn relief package with one-off grants of up to £9,000 will hopefully help many businesses in retail and hospitality industries survive the third lockdown. In addition, the Government will invest £830 from the Future High Streets Fund to support 72 areas in England to recover from the pandemic. This investment is set to transform town centres into vibrant places to shop, live and work.
To sum up, we can see that some brands really struggled during the pandemic while closing units permanently and making redundancies. In the meantime, other retailers managed to grow their businesses and focus on future success and potential opportunities. This can also be explained by different business models, crisis management and other aspects of the industry.
Why Media is a reputable design, marketing, digital communications and PR agency offering tailored solutions to companies on a global scale. We have extensive experience in delivering design and marketing services to a spectrum of companies including professional services, property companies, financial institutions and shopping centres.