Retail expert Martin Newman from Practicology announces his investment in Down Your High Street.
There is undeniably a sizeable shift occurring in our high street retail landscape. Some are pessimistic as to its survival; however, a growing number of organisations and individuals, even the UK government, are throwing their faith and financial backing behind the UK high street. Rather than a last-ditch attempt to save it from terminal decline, much of the research and reasoning behind these moves is rooted in hope and opportunity. The UK government, following the introduction of their Great British High Street Awards, have introduced a £500,000 British Improvement Districts (BIDs) Loan Fund allowing communities to deliver additional local services and upgrade commercial areas for the benefit of business.
The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee (HCLG) recently (21st Feb 2019) released a report urging a number of measures to help boost the High Street – including a fairer tax system.
Meanwhile, DownYourHighStreet.com, an e-commerce platform created specifically for independent bricks and mortar retailers to grow their e-commerce business, has recently completed an outstandingly successful funding round with Crowdcube. The company secured 181% (£272,060) of their target investment from 140 backers.
Martin Newman is one of those investors. A renowned thought leader in the retail industry, Martin has over 25 years’ expertise in multi-channel retail, heading up the eCommerce departments of some of the world’s leading brands including Burberry, Intersport, Harrods and Ted Baker. With his company Practicology, one of the fastest growing global e-commerce and multi-channel consultancies, he has advised e-commerce companies globally to help them grow and improve their omni-channel services.
“I’m really happy to be investing in DownYourHighStreet.com and in doing so, helping to empower independent retailers to take advantage of the multichannel shopping requirements of our consumers,” Martin says.
“Britain needs to embrace our future as a multi-channel economy and accept that customers choose experiences as much as they choose products. There will always be a place for bricks and mortar stores, and there will always be a place for speedy, efficient online shopping. We live in exciting times, and by celebrating this diversification we can work with what our customers really want, to ensure a great future for stores and shoppers alike. I’m putting my money and my advice where my mouth is on this one: Britain’s high streets are here to stay. I look forward to supporting Down Your High Street as they continue to empower independent retailers.”
Speaking previously with Malcolm McDonald, co-author on the book 100 Practical Ways to Improve Customer Experience, Martin has emphasised that he doesn’t believe in an ‘Armageddon’ on the high street, but in ‘realignment’. Retailers are having to react and rethink how they connect with customers as they compete with large e-commerce platforms that offer great logistics in terms of delivery and collection, as well as volume of choice and price transparency.
This is not easy for many independent retailers who continue to rely on legacy technology and have a lack of budget and know-how to enable them to upgrade and invest in successfully e-commerce strategies. And, while Amazon gives some retailers an opportunity to sell online, it doesn’t serve independent retailers well as they lose their unique branding and get lost among online-only sellers. This is where platforms such as DownYourHighStreet.com come in, with a single focus on supporting these smaller bricks and mortar retailers and shoring up their brand, Martin will be advising the company on how best to provide that support – helping them improve customer relationships, how to work with ecommerce in this digital era and provide a more individual personalised service.
Even more interestingly, Martin envisions that artisans independent will have a bigger presence on the high street of the future, will be a lot more experience driven. It’s a trend we have seen in some of the bigger brands high street stores such as Apple and John Lewis, and independent retailers will need further support to bring such experiences into their stores.
With the support of Martin Newman and others who are passionate about high street retail, Downyourhighstreet.com has detailed plans for an official launch in June 2019. This will be a small invitation event where investors and retailers can share in the celebration of the platform achieving its milestones. After being featured on ITV’s Lorraine show, the platform clocked up £38,000 worth of sales in 48 hours and the sales keep growing. Currently, there are 400 shops on the site. Going forward, the platform expects to sign up to 3000 more retailers enabling customers to purchase thousands more unique items that until now have not been available online.
For more information about the event and to register your interest head to DownYourHighStreet.com.
DownYourHighStreet.com is a free to join, low commission online marketplace on a mission to save the UK’s high streets. DownYourHighStreet.com hosts millions of products that were previously unavailable online, with seamless managed services for UK independent high street shops, allowing sellers to create or integrate their online presence easily and seamlessly with total service support, saving retailers on time and costs traditionally associated with establishing a visible online presence.
Speaking previously with his co-author of book 100 ways to improve customer experience https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Np5nUq2R1GM
…Have introduced a £500,000 British Improvement Districts (BIDs) Loan Fund https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-business-improvement-districts-loan-fund