Does the High Street have a Future?

‘The high street is dead’ echoed every newspaper and blog as we sat back and watched the demise of Comet, HMV, and Blockbuster earlier this year.

With super-fast broadband and innovative online media streaming services like LOVEFILM and Spotify, it’s easy to point the finger at the internet for the failure of the high street, but is this a fair judgement?

What does the future hold for retail, both online and in store, and how can we learn from others mistakes to avoid our own obituary? We ask marketing and ecommerce professionals what they think at this year’s Internet Retailing Expo held in Birmingham.

Held over two days, Internet Retailing Expo is the biggest event in online retail and provided us with a fantastic opportunity to meet like-minded, ecommerce professionals. This year’s show, which took place last month, drew in a packed Birmingham NEC with famous-name stands, workshops and theatres featuring a packed schedule of inspirational speakers.

But don’t just take our word for it; here’s what the visitors and exhibitors had to say:

So yes, the high street may change, and yes companies will come and go. But with a strong strategy that embraces opportunities rather than fearing them, retailers can survive and even thrive.

Before we blame the internet for the high street’s demise, perhaps we should look at how it can work with new technologies and techniques to provide a truly multi-channel retail experience? Digital is now a major part of the shopping process, and it is vital to the success of any retailer that they implement an online strategy.

So what’s the census from Internet Retailing Expo? eCommerce is not the enemy here; shopping has changed and so has the high street with it.

Do you agree? Let us know what you think below or on Twitter using the hashtag #PCAchat