In case you hadn’t noticed, shopping is changing. The UK’s high streets are seriously unwell. If the shuttered shops in your local city centre don’t give the game away, perhaps the high-profile bankruptcies of Debenhams, Arcadia, Warehouse, Oasis – we really could go on – and 177,000 retail jobs lost in 2020 (Centre for Retail Research) might be enough to convince you.
Although the pandemic did nothing to help these relics of the Saturday afternoon shopping expedition, it merely sped up a process put in motion by the rise of online retail. These shops could not compete with the low overheads and big data of e-commerce, and their in-person shopping experiences were nothing compared to the convenience, breadth of choice and ease of use that online shopping provided. The fact that when Topshop went into administration, it was ASOS, the original big beast of online retail, that