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The Failure of High Street Retailers Essay

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Based on retail change theories, explain the failure of high street retailers.

A Case Study of Comet

The recent financial meltdown that started unfolding in 2008 had a massive toll on businesses and impacted economies around the world. Adversities of the economic fallout were felt by a plethora of business sectors. Starting from the financial sector, the contagion then moved to the automobile sector, and later infected a number of downstream industries that owed their business viability to easy access to cheap credit that characterised the pre-crisis macroeconomic environment of the developed world. When the world finally started to recollect what had happened, there was hardly a sector that was found spared from ill effects of the global financial crisis.

End of easy access to credit as an aftermath of the crisis worked on two planes. One, it constricted access of small and medium businesses to borrowing from banks. The ensuing slackened commercial activity for the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) had its bearing on overall level of trade and commerce within the economy. Two, the purchasing power of the end consumers was greatly diminished. What would now appear as ‘overleveraging’ of individual borrowers in the hindsight was very much a normal level of debt burden in the pre-crisis period. In fact, consumer credit was touted as one of the key drivers of economic activity and growth prior to 2008. However, as disposable incomes shrank in the post-crisis period, consumers made adjustments in their spending behaviour (The Economist, 2013). No other sector was more impacted by this shift than retail. Within the broader retail/FMCG sector, the subclass hit hardest was the high street retail segment (Ruddick and Blackden, 2012)....


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... 2014]
The Economist, 2013. The emporium strikes back. [online] Available at: http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21581755-retailers-rich-world-are-suffering-people-buy-more-things-online-they-are-finding [Accessed April 1, 2014]
UK’s Department of Trade and Industry, 2000. Click and Mortar: The New Store Fronts. London: Department of Trade and Industry.
Wood, Z., Kollewe, J. and Schimroszik, N., 2012. Comet sees website crash and suppliers commandeer stock, The Guardian [online] Available at: < http://www.theguardian.com/business/2012/nov/01/comet-website-crash> [Accessed March 31, 2014]
Yorkshire Post, 2008. From the first wireless to hi-tech TV, Comet leaves a trail of success [online] Available at: [Accessed April 1, 2014]




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