// Retailers see drop in footfall as brands shift to digital platforms
// Increasing online sales have resulted in bricks-and-mortar stores losing market share
Retailers are seeking to embrace the shift in consumer trends as increasing online sales have resulted in bricks-and-mortar stores losing market share, industry analysts have said.
According to GlobalData, retailers are increasingly shifting towards digital platforms.
“The high street continues to suffer a loss of footfall as more and more consumers shift to online shopping – a large part of which is due to the greater choice and convenience it offers,” GlobalData apparel correspondent, Hannah Abdulla said.
- Karen Millen & Coast stores shut as Boohoo rescues online business
- Online retail sales slump to lowest ever July growth
- Shop vacancy rate hits four-year high
H&M is one of the many retailers that is looking to embrace this shift, GlobalData said.
The Swedish retailer said it was focusing increasingly on online expansion for its new outlet brand Afound, and less on physical store expansion.
Afound launched in 2018 and sells marked-down clothes from some external labels as well as the H&M group’s own brands.
H&M said that following its first year of trading it has witnessed, it found that customers prefer shopping online.
“We’ve watched the high street giants tumble; House of Fraser, Debenhams and now even John Lewis. Even ones that target younger shoppers – Arcadia Group’s Topshop, for example, are struggling as shoppers take their business online.” Abdulla said.
“That shift is only set to become more apparent as the incoming generations become more tech-savvy and time-poor.
“Retailers and brands must sharpen up their online offering and reconsider their options for underperforming physical stores if they plan on staying in the game.”