You may hear almost all of the time that there is something very disruptive happening in the retail landscape and there are constant revolutions going on. Here are my personal sightings from the great British retail landscape from a ten-year perspective. Britain is a nation of shopkeepers and you can see plenty of shops in British cities, towns, and villages. Shoppers are pampered by a wide range of offerings. Let us go backwards in ten years of time.
Ten years ago in 2008, Britain was already embracing new smart device technologies coming from Apple and Android. New smart devices gained popularity extremely quickly. Almost everyone had an iPhone and Android smartphone in 2010 in Britain and this meant the end of Nokia's market dominance. In 2013, Nokia's smart device business was sold to Microsoft. Apple and Android began to disrupt the retail environment as a result because people had the power to make buying decisions effortlessly from their fingertips.
iTunes became more and more popular, hence, especially movie consumption. The movie market was suddenly full of movie streaming services and already in 2010 Blockbusters went bankrupt. In this case, the market shift was extremely quick. HMV had to close some of their shops because of selling DVDs and CDs did not pay the bills.
Digital music services hit hard traditional record shops. Therefore, Virgin Megastore's were also sold by Richard Branson to former employers in 2007, and Megastores were transformed under the Zavvi brand name but Zavvi's stores were closed already in 2009. But the brand continued its journey as an e-commerce site.
Amazon UK was already a competitive force in 2008 in Britain and its delivery times were extremely fast. Supermarket chains Tesco, Asda, and Sainsbury already provided home deliveries, and as a result, the online food market has grown.
But what is the biggest issue, which has happened in the British retail landscape? Ten years ago Britain had lots of small and medium-sized grocery stores, which were independent traders, hence, they were not a part of larger chains. Lots of these sort of stores have disappeared and the landscape is ruled by well-known brands and larger grocery stores - big supermarket chains, global fashion brands, health and beauty retailers and high-end department stores.
When we are talking about Amazon's "disruptive" performance in Britain, it basically means that the company has taken market share from small grocery stores. Hence, Amazon is the world's biggest grocery store as a result. The word "disruptive" is exaggerating because we have seen only minor changes in the whole marketplace but small middlemen are the ones, which are feeling extreme pressure. Big brands are going strong.
Published in Luxury Sales Academy.