The future of retail is high street independents, says expert

The lockdowns have made consumer seek out more personal connections in their shopping journeys, according to one prominent retail expert.

Speaking on the latest episode of the award-winning kbbreview Podcast, Tim Nash (pictured) from retail experiences agency Wild VC, said that these connections give independent retailers a unique opportunity.

“The future of retail is in personal brand connections,” Nash said. “All the terrible things that have happened have made people reassess how we communicate with each other and connect with things – we’ve reassessed our values.

“The brands that have been really successful in this period, and will be successful going forward, are the one that have really taken the time to look at their values and how they engage with these consumers.”

The last few weeks have seen the collapse of classic high street retail brands such as TopShop, Debenhams and Bon Marche – failures that Nash says can be traced back to a lack of focus on community connections to their demographics.

“I’m really passionate about it because I think the future of retail lies in our local high streets creating local experiences for the community they serve,” Nash said. “We’ve moved out our offices and worked from home. Now, I think we’ll go back to the office eventually, but what we’ve gained in 2020 is this connection back to our local community.

“I’ve got a greengrocers around the corner that I’d never went to until I started working from home all the time. And there’s a butcher’s there. There’s a coffee shop that I go to instead of going to Pret a Manger and they’re all independents.

“But there’s massive work for local councils and high streets to do in invigorating that but there’s some fantastic independent businesses and the people who work in there are so passionate about their businesses, their products and connecting with people in their communities.”

You can hear the full interview with Tim Nash on The kbbreview Podcast by using the player below or by searching ‘kbbreview’ in your podcast app of choice.

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