In the past decade, popular high street stores have faced competition like never before from online fashion brands. The likes of New Look, M&S and House of Fraser have all announced store closures across the UK. The argument is that there is a significant lack of interest in the high street, largely due to cheaper alternatives online. One major competitor for many brands is retail giant Amazon. So, what are high street stores doing about this increased competition? Here’s a look into how they’re competing with online fashion brands:
What is Fast-Fashion?
Fast-fashion refers to the online fashion brands who are able to create pieces that replica the trends seen on the catwalk, in record time, often with low quality materials. A lot of fast-fashion is massed produced in China before being sold in the online stores. From designer lingerie boutique’s to shoe wear companies, practically everything seen on the catwalk has been made the same, but cheaper. These brands don’t have the typical overhead costs of a high-street store, as they only require warehouse spaces and not physical premises.
A Battle of Quality vs Price
Many fashion blog reporters say that fast-fashion is the new way of shopping. While this may be true for the younger generation, there is no denying the stark difference in quality. High street shops offer pieces with better quality material that is guaranteed to last the wearer years. On the other hand, fast-fashion retailers don’t make their clothes to last. So, why are they so popular? It seems that many people prefer a cheaper price over good-quality clothing, much to the high street’s dismay.
Save the High Street Campaign
To try and tackle the problem, a ‘Save The High Street’ campaign was set up by passionate high-street advocates. There are hundreds of members from up and down the country, most of whom own independent shops in small towns. It aims to promote the high street and draw crowds back to their local shops. They provide members with a weekly newsletter, including industry research that may be of benefit.
Additionally, the ‘Save The High Street’ campaign also encourages shops to offer shoppers more of an experience. So called ‘experiences’ are set to revitalise the high street. The hope is that by offering customers a unique shopping experience, they may prefer to shop on the high-street than online.
The Future of the High Street
There is no clear path for high street shops, and the future is anything but certain. However, their seems to be some merit to their new ‘experience’ approach, which may just prove to benefit the shops who are faced with the prospect of closing their doors for good.