// “I think it (the high street) is definitely going to be a different place,” Samsung UK boss Conor Pierce says
// Before the pandemic, retail accounted for around 50% of smartphone sales in the UK but during the pandemic that dropped down to 21%
// That figure has climbed up to 37% since shop reopenings
The head of Samsung in the UK has said that while the high street will remain an important outlet for retailers after the pandemic, it will evolve to become a “different place”.
Samsung UK and Ireland corporate vice president Conor Pierce said the tech giant was already seeing people return to physical retail spaces as lockdown restrictions began to ease and shops started to reopen.
Speaking to the PA news agency, Pierce said Samsung’s own research had found that many people intended to return to the high street post-pandemic, but the rise of online shopping driven by lockdown restrictions would also drastically change how people shopped.
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He also described the lockdown restrictions as having “fast-tracked” how the Samsung would be “engaging with the market” going forward.
“I think it (the high street) is definitely going to be a different place,” Pierce told PA.
“I think it’s just a natural evolution and new chapter in retail – obviously forced by the pandemic.”
Samsung’s research showed that prior to Covid, retail accounted for around 50 per cent of smartphone sales in the UK but during the pandemic that dropped down to 21 per cent, partly hanks to some non-essential stores remaining open for click-and-collect services only.
Since shops have reopened after the recent third lockdown, that figure has climbed up to 37 per cent – which Pierce said was still “quite a significant drop” compared to pre-pandemic figured.
“What is interesting though is that recent research shows that 20 per cent of UK consumers intend to return to retail to browse and shop,” he said.
“So I think they still recognise that need for retail.
“Of course, everyone has been imprisoned in their homes so they’re desperate to get out anyway, but they certainly see value in retail and retail for us is very important.”
Samsung, like many other major tech firms, moved its product announcements and retail experiences online during the pandemic, creating virtual hands-on spaces to preview new devices to the media and others, with many continuing to run events and offer new ways to shop online.
with PA Wires