John Milliken, managing director of the mobile payments service chaired by Sir Stuart Rose, Mobile Money Network, claims virtual shops (such as being implemented by House of Fraser) can help boost the high street.
Responding to figures out today from the Local Data Company (LDC), which show across the UK 48,000 shops lie empty, Milliken said: “It’s not just consumers have been hit in the pocket, they are changing the way they shop to reflect the simplicity of online convenience versus high street experience that remains waylaid by queues, lack of stock, and limited hours of operation.
“Hence the rise of virtual shops, where customers can enjoy the physical and social element of shopping, and then purchase via mobile from just a poster, or collect items that they’ve ordered on line, at any time.
“Retailing from virtual shops provides 24-hour, single click retailing from stores, whether the doors are open or not. It encourages retailers to put more into their high street displays, and get more out of them at any time. Landlords can be remunerated either by rent or revenue share from the simplest stores of the future, that keep our high streets alive.”