Physical mobility shops are far from defeated and have much to be optimistic about despite the negative press surrounding UK high streets and bricks-and-mortar retail.
That’s according to Ableworld managing director, Mike Williams, who was reflecting on new data showing bricks-and-mortar outlets now account for over 80% of total retail sales.
In an internal weekly bulletin sent to Ableworld staff, including franchisees, Mr Williams said that increasing online sales, negative press, bad planning and news around business rates, costs and car parking is giving the impression that the high street is dying.
But he added that bricks-and-mortar retail is “still alive and kicking and taking 81.5% of retail sales”.
He said: “If some stores are sitting there with doom and gloom believing they can’t go against the trend of what they hear on the TV – they are so wrong.
“Anyone sitting there thinking retail, as we know it is dead, needs to think again.
“You have to give a good service and ensure you work hard to get and keep those customers, whether they be the end-customer, their children or the healthcare professionals.”
Illustrating his point, Mr Williams added that most of Ableworld’s own and franchise stores are up on sales compared to last year and in the last 16 weeks since the start of the firm’s financial year, company stores and departments the parent group controls are up 10% overall.
Meanwhile, he said franchises along with joint ventures are up on last year by 14% in the same period.
He concluded: “There is so much out there, in a great Industry, where we can help and support others, everyone should be proud of being part of it.”