Just about all local high street retailers will tell you trade is good, even if the face or a returned wave of covid infections.
High street retail is strong because shoppers are concerned abut big shopping centres. They prefer the easier local high street situation for shopping. We hear from shoppers that they feel this situation is safer for them. So, in a comparison of a shopping mall visit versus a high street retail visit, for plenty of shoppers the preference will be the high street visit.
The other reason local high street retail is strong is because plenty who shifted to work from home at the start of Covid have not returned to the city, to big offices. People are loving working from home, living and working locally … and, local retailers are loving serving them, helping out with new needs of this now more regional office based workforce.
We are not part of the camp calling for workers to return to the office. For our customers and even for our own business we support people working where they are able, where they are happiest. This is good for local communities, and especially good for local high street retail.
Of course, our views are selfish in that the vast majority of our Tower Systems POS software customers and local high street retailers. Jewellers, garden centres, bike shops, toy shops, pet shops, games shops, sewing shops, fishing shops, charity shops, music shops, produce businesses, newsagents, camping shops, firearms dealers, convenience shops … and more.
These local shops benefit from shoppers preferencing local high street retail over a shopping mall or shopping during a lunch break from office work in the city.
Plenty of local retailers have adjusted their businesses to better serve these new opportunities that emerged from Covid and while some saw the shift as temporary, engaged retailers have planned for the permanent shift of some from city based work to suburban and regional work. The benefit for the local community of this shift is considerable as local retailers will spend more of what they make locally than a shopping mall big business or than a city based business.
What we are seeing in Australia, and globally, is a reset of how, where and when we work and having a front seat to this shift, this change, is a wonderful opportunity not only as an observer, but as a participant.