Will Amazon end high street retail?

According to an article  earlier this year, almost 90% of UK shoppers use Amazon. The online superpower started out almost 20 years ago predominantly selling books. It now sells almost everything you can get on your local high street (and more). With this said, is it too much to say that Amazon spells the end of high street retail as we know it? Read on to find out.

Why do consumers love Amazon?

It is estimated that 15 million people in the UK are signed up to Amazon Prime. A further 13% have shared access, which offers customers unlimited free next day delivery as well as film, TV and music streaming. But exactly why do consumers love Amazon?


As E-commerce continues to grow, it is becoming clear that the 21st century consumer is not as interested in the experience which can be offered in-store. They are happy to sacrifice this in return for ease and speed.


Bricks-and-mortar stores are limited in the stock which they can display and offer. In the search for optimum choice, more and more consumers are reaching for Amazon. This is because the retailer offers an impressive range of products as well as unbeatable availability.


Amazon started out selling books, DVDs and video games (which are still the brand’s biggest sellers). However, it now sells products from almost every industry. This is helped by the incubation of 1000s of independent sellers on the marketplace. This has resulted in the range of products available through the online retailer becoming sky-high.


The statistics of those signed up to Amazon show just what the high street stores are up against. Consumers can simply search and purchase items from the comfort of their own home. As they can now receive them the next day, the need to travel to the nearest town or city is eliminated. The result is that the high street shops aren’t getting nearly as much footfall, and consequently, less sales.


The speed of purchase, availability and variety of products, as well as the ease of the customer journey are allowing the customer to SAVE both money and time. In both of these areas, the high street shops are left trailing behind.

Does Amazon spell the end of the high street?

With so many consumers turning to Amazon for their household items, clothes and now even food through Amazon’s most recent expansion Amazon Pantry, it is having a negative effect on high street shops, who are losing sales.

Amazon has in fact already changed the face of the high street as we know it. Big brands such as House of Fraser and Debenhams have closed a number of their stores. Others are changing their approach completely in an attempt to get people through their doors. For example, through exclusive in-store experiences and visual merchandising.

The question of whether Amazon spells the end of the high street is a huge complex in the current retail sector. However, it has definitely had a large part to play in the changes we’ve witnessed to date.

To find out more about the predictions for the retail sector, and how you can innovate your business to ensure its success, get in touch with 8RC.