Web sell­ers turn­ing to high street to ‘show­room’ goods

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By

Rhi­an­non Bury A GROW­ING num­ber of on­line re­tail­ers are open­ing phys­i­cal stores on the high street in an at­tempt to at­tract cus­tomers, as the growth of in­ter­net shop­ping looks set to slow.

By 2021, the rate of growth in on­line sales is ex­pected to de­cline from the cur­rent level of around 11pc to 7pc, ac­cord­ing to prop­erty con­sul­tancy Col­liers. In an­tic­i­pa­tion of this, on­line re­tail­ers are in­creas­ingly us­ing real stores to bol­ster their sales and their brands, in a trend in­dus­try ex­perts have called “show­room­ing” – al­low­ing them to dis­play prod­ucts to en­tice cus­tomers to buy.

An ex­am­ple of this is French fash­ion brand Sézane, which be­gan life on eBay be­fore mov­ing to its own web­site and then set­ting up stores in the world’s ma­jor cities.

This in­creas­ing pres­ence of shops on the high street has also ex­tended to firms such as Sam­sung and Dyson, which pre­vi­ously sold through stock­ists but are now reach­ing their cus­tomers di­rectly through their own store net­works.

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