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Rise of High Street ‘show rooms’ foretold in new research

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By John Glenday, Reporter

April 16, 2013 | 1 min read

Fresh research conducted by Rakuten for the Internet Retailing Expo has found that one in four delegates expect High Street shops to morph into something more akin to showrooms over the next 12 months.

This phenomenon is seen by many as the logical conclusion to the unstoppable growth of online shopping with consumers browsing in store but ultimately purchasing the products online.

The findings follow continued pessimism as to the future of the High Street with just 7 per cent of respondents anticipating sales growth this year and 63 per cent predicting a decline in physical stores.

Adam Stewart, marketing director at Rakuten’s Play.com commented: “There’s no question that shoppers still love that tangible branded shopping experience that the high street delivers so well, but this idea of showrooming is growing in popularity. Ultimately it’s about creating multi-touch shopping experiences and this extends online, from interacting with customers through social channels to providing a dynamic and entertaining digital shopping experience.”

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