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Retail reborn: How tech change has become a source of High Street hope

Technology can help reinvent the high street and deliver a new era of lean and mean retailers capable of capturing the imagination of a digital native generation.   Given the carnage of the last 12 months, it would be easy to dismiss retail, especially on the high street, as a spent force. The demise of Debenhams and Arcadia has understandably rocked the retail world but in fairness, this has been on the cards for some time. The COVID-19 pandemic has just accelerated what was already in motion, a retail market at a tipping point between the large, traditional stores of the past and the modern, digitally-driven stores of the future. The emergence of online-only retailers Asos and Boohoo as buyers of the Debenhams and Arcadia brands just confirms the changing of the retail guard. This is now a digital retail age and everything from supply chain management through to customer engagement is being data-driven. The challenge for the larger, traditional high street stores is how to adapt and adapt quickly. Some, such as Next, have already been better at it than others but as history has taught us, technology change can be a great leveller.


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