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Smartphones are now the most popular device for getting online and 76% of adults in the UK have one. We use them for nearly two hours every day to browse the internet, access social media, bank and shop online (Ofcom, 2017).
EU workers are fleeing the UK due to the lack of certainty surrounding Brexit. With 170,000 people from the EU working directly in retail, their departure is likely to cause a skills gap and workforce shortage in the sector.
Findings from the British Retail Consortium show that EU nationals employed at 56% of UK retailers are concerned about their right to remain following Brexit, while almost a quarter (22%) of retailers reported that employees from the EU have already left their UK workforce.
Retailers are looking to the Government to provide certainty for people from the EU working in the UK as well as a new immigration system fit for the future. The report warns that consumers could pay the price if action isn’t taken fast.
Online retailers seek a more personal connection with shoppers
Personalisation technology is being used by eBay to create a more immersive shopping experience for its customers.
The online marketplace teamed up with Saatchi Art recently to create “the world’s first subconscious shopping experience” called ‘The Art of Shopping’.
The personalised shopping event involved visitors looking at works of art while wearing an EEG headset which monitored the electrical activity in their brain to uncover their subconscious desires.
After exploring the art gallery, visitors received a personalised shopping cart filled with product suggestions that had been selected for them based on their artistic tastes.
Payment at your fingertips
Visit Costcutter at London’s Brunel University and you will be able to pay for your shopping using just your fingertip. The latest technology ‘Fingopay’ allows shoppers to pay for their purchases using the unique vein pattern in their fingertip .
The old £1coin lives on
Retailers were due to stop accepting the old pound coins as legal tender on Sunday but Henderson Retail says their 800 company-owned Spar and Eurospar stores will still accept the old pound coins until two weeks after the Royal Mint cut-off . Sadly, for the 400 independently-owned Spar, Eurospar and Vivo stores, they aren’t covered by the exemption.
Out-of-town retail showing signs of growth
Retail figures out this week showed that UK spending was down in September, leading to speculation that shoppers are now holding back before Black Friday and Christmas. But how does out-of-town retail compare?
Out-of-town retail parks and urban shopping centres face many of the same issues as the high street due to the rapid evolution of tech and consumers’ changing shopping habits but it’s still a case of evolve or die for retailers .
The out-of-town sector has been more resilient than the high street so far but and although there hasn’t been a new out-of-town shopping centre built in the UK since Bluewater in 1999, there have been a spate of big acquisitions in the sector which signal consumer confidence.
Research by Savills suggests there is capacity for another five mega-malls but no one seems sure whether they will come to fruition.