Third of independent retailers fear they may no longer be relevant

Retailers in the Midlands are least likely to have built a website or have used social media with retailers in the North most likely to be cash-only

A third of independent retailers fear they may no longer be relevant as Britain’s high streets experience “the greatest shake up in a century”, according to a report from Worldpay.

Surveying over 711 small business owners, two thirds said that technology poses a significant threat to their survival with half having said that technology can get in the way of providing a personalised experience to customers.

On the flip side, 88% of business owners said understanding and embracing new technology represented their best chance of survival – suggesting retailers are suitably responding to the change.

Business owners in London and the south of England appear most eager to embrace new technologies with 95% having said that they were interested in investing in technology to expand their reach online, improve their in-store experience, and to become more efficient.

In stark contrast, retailers in the Midlands are the least likely to have built a website or to have used social media for business – Northern retailers were found to be the most likely to be cash-only.

Worldpay iStreet ambassador and former Apprentice winner, Tim Campbell, said:

“Regardless of the rapid changes technology is bringing about to the way people interact with their high streets, people still love them. By embracing the opportunities technological advances can present and listening to customer needs there is still a place for the cherished brands and stores that many local residents trust and love.

“Being defeatist is not an option. Responding to the changes is.”

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