Habitat, HomeForm, TJ Hughes: why is it H-H-Hell on the high street?

Graham Soult

Retail consultant, writer, blogger; helping retailers via CannyInsights.com and CannySites.com. Say hello on Twitter at @soult!

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7 Responses

  1. John the Retailer says:

    Its so easy to be distracted by price, and try to compete with the big chains. Even consumers these days seem to neglect value for price at first, only learning afterwards that you get what you pay for.

    So slow moving consumer goods like electricals and furniture, the buy cycle is slow slow that people live with a poor purchase for a long time.

    So, even upmarket retailers need a value proposition.

    But, some of these failing retailers have got it badly wrong. Trying to keep an upmarket image whilst taking price and quality down is poor business.That is what did for Habitat in the end.

  2. Gabriella Coscia says:

    Shame about Habitat but it was on the cards a while. Furniture multiples are in decline and Habitat are expensive with not very good quality. Even the closing down sales at 20 per cent off are expensive. Thorntons another luxury shops. I buy in the supermarket or Hotel Chocolat.

    It’s not just a declining economy but changing social needs.

    Retailing like many other things is becoming polarised between value for the have not’s and luxury for the have’s, middle income retailers are very few and far between nowadays.

    On the plus side Store 21 (the former QS) and Select (previously in administration) are looking to grow their store portfolios so I think there is hope for the high street yet and may be if rents come down we can have more choice and more independent retailers instead of clone towns

  3. John says:

    Too right about Thorntons. Tesco were selling Thornton’s £20 chocolate selections for £6.99 in the run up to Christmas. I bought three for family members for less than a pound more than Thorntons stores were charging for 1. Even I was flabberghasted

  4. david coxon says:

    Nice post Graham, and indeed difficult times for retails of all shapes and sizes at the moment.

    It seems there is a little bit of a ‘perfect storm’ going on in retail with interest rates, rents, changes peoples aspirations, public attitudes towards borrowing/spending and worries about the future of the economy all adding up to very turbulent times.

    I guess on the positive side though, all of these big closures will potentially make way for some smaller and arguably more exciting niche businesses and possibly very different approaches to the way we shop.

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