The Deloitte Consumer Review: Reinventing the role of the high street

Author Deloitte

This report from Deloitte discusses the continuing importance of the high street for consumers and businesses, and the ways it can adapt in the face of ongoing cyclical and structural changes and challenges. Rather than proclaiming the ‘death of the high street’, the report instead explores how high streets can transform and innovate.

Date added 17 August 2021
Last updated 17 August 2021

This report from Deloitte discusses the continuing importance of the high street for consumers and businesses, and the ways it can adapt in the face of ongoing cyclical and structural changes. Some of the key challenges high streets are dealing with, outlined at the beginning of the report, includes: an oversupply of retail space; business rates and other barriers to entry; a growing consumer desire for leisure and experience; digital acceleration; and fragmented ownership and landlords. However, rather than proclaiming the ‘death of the high street’, and by drawing on a range of research insights and evidence on consumers, high streets and retail, the report outlines several key ways high streets can innovate, adapt, and transform, in the face of such longstanding challenges; in turn, becoming ‘a more agile high street’. Some of these suggestions are summarised below.

Deloitte’s ‘recipe for success’:

  • Convenience provision- importance of local, product availability, and immediacy
  • Experience- the need to offer activities that cannot be replicated online
  • Omnichannel- the use of technology to integrate the physical and digital
  • Place management- supporting better partnerships between local authorities and private sector partners
  • Citizen participation - empower and include local communities in the shaping of their high streets to ensure they meet local needs
  • More flexibility- more flexible leases, planning and use classes to encourage more innovation and pop-up activity
  • Multifunctionality - as well as retail, high streets should include a good mix of leisure, health care, education, and other services.