National and industry headlines are rife with doom and gloom about UK high streets. And, for want of a phrase from Love Island, ‘it is what it is’… But what it is, is becoming tiresome. And sales and profits do keep consistently dropping. But maybe it's time to change the measurement.
Let’s take Black Friday. In 2018, the biggest retail period of the year led to the biggest drop in footfall for the month of November of 2018. Fact. Cue calls for ‘Bleak Friday’!
But, to put it in perspective, Black Friday alone still injected £7 billion into the British retail sector. Another fact. Sure, this has been predominately driven by online sales but… is that really so bleak? And should retailers want to avoid it?
Not only is the retail period helping to generate billions of pounds into the retail industry, it’s helping to drive millions of incremental eyeballs to retailer websites and now not just for one day, it is more like Black Friday fortnight. The brand awareness opportunity for retailers is huge – and in turn, presents an opportunity for their supplier brands to collaborate with them to create something meaningful for shoppers.
That sounds far from bleak.
The trick is striking the right chord at the right time for shoppers. Shoppers are in the mindset to buy and secure a great deal – in addition to learning more about the range of brands available to get the best deal.
If retailers and brands collaborate to help shoppers, ‘Bleak Friday’ ceases to exist. Let’s celebrate the increase in traffic to retailer websites rather than the brick-and-mortar footfall reduction. The retail industry isn’t the same anymore, so the same measurements shouldn’t be applied.