ECONOMIC

A VERY DIFFERENT HIGH STREET

Driving Factors

UNEMPLOYMENT

Unemployment could still hit record highs, and even the most optimistic are charting significant job losses. With small retail decimated and construction at a standstill, workers face zero-hour contracts, reduced wages and little in the way of help.

CONFIDENCE

Consumer confidence hits the floor hard, with people unable or afraid to spend. Stimulus checks go out but are spent on necessities and the amounts just aren’t enough to stimulate growth, zero percent interest rates limit the ability of central banks to input much.

SMALL BUSINESS

Small business is hit hardest. Restaurants fail to re-open, high street stores are shuttered and the move to online and out of town is cemented, sealing the fate of the high-street, at least for now. Chains move in to sweep up what’s left of independent business as bricks and motor stores move to Etsy.

What To Look For

NO SHAME VALUE

The ‘no shame’ value brands start to look like a smarter option for more and more people. Lidl and Aldi make faster inroads into traditional grocery stores, who in turn expand their offer beyond food, eating into department store revenue. Branded Own Label makes a comeback.

MASS-TIGE

Acceptable badges at more affordable prices become a mantra as the high-end brands struggle to find the tone and opportunity in this new word. Pop-up partnerships with chains such as H&M become a more important part of the mix, with luxury brands licensing their names in the short term.

NEW FORMATS

Space on the high street gives the large chains opportunity to play with their retail formats. Supermarkets experiment with smaller formats, express and convenience. Restaurants look at using space as dark kitchens, to speed their delivery offer. Online retailers look at space to be able to offer “pick up in person” options.