‘The icy blast over the last week has provided an apt metaphor for conditions on the high street.
‘We’re now seeing the harsh reality that regardless of service levels in-store, high street retailers without a full and integrated online offering are really going to struggle to compete with the likes of Amazon – particularly at low price points. It’s also a fairly safe bet that Amazon will take up much of the slack left by the exiting operators.
‘The recent collapse of well-known names such as Toys R Us and Maplin should be a wake-up call to others. Clearly, retail businesses with outmoded service offerings and a single channel focus will need to take urgent action to adapt their business strategies, or they could find themselves following suit.’
‘The current dynamics for retailers are challenging. Increasing costs coupled with weak consumer spending have made the past 12 months some of the most challenging conditions for retailers in a generation. The current inclement weather will add further misery on those that struggled during the festive period.
’Many retailers are now pro-actively restructuring themselves to ensure they remain competitive and are well set for the future.
‘We have recently been involved in a number of restructurings in which turnarounds have been rapidly implemented, saving jobs and ensuring on-going profitable trading. It is important that all the stakeholders in businesses recognise the importance of acting swiftly to ensure disorderly failures such as Maplins and Toys R Us are avoided.’