The Royal Mail study shows that 16 per cent of UK SME online retailers expect to open their own store of seek space in one this year, offering opportunities for retail designers.
In total, 40 per cent of UK SME online retailers are planning to move into new channels in the next 12 months, in a bid to increase sales.
In seeking a move to the high street, these retailers are picking up on a long-running global trend.
Online brand eBay opened a pop-up store in London’s Soho at the end of 2011, while Amazon was reported to be looking at retail space in Seattle, USA, in 2012. Google has also dabbled in physical outlets.
Stuart Wood, co-founder of retail consultancy Missouri told Design Week that the trend could lead to more creativity in high street designs.
He says, ‘Because of their ingenuity, online retailers have done a great job of reaching their consumers online, and I think we’ll see a big rise in retailers being innovative in the offline world.’
Portland managing director Ibrahim Ibrahim says, ‘When you shop online it’s less about category silos, it’s about hybridisation and cross-blurring of category lines and that will migrate in-store.
‘An online brand is different from one day to the next and they’ll have to deliver that in-store as well.’
Royal Mail quizzed 406 UK SME online retailers for its study.