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Hard times on the High Street

At the time of writing the UK High Street is buckling with bad news. In June alone, Carpetright, Homeform and Thorntons announced it was closing stores while Haldanes Supermarket, Jane Norman, TJ Hughes and Habitat went into administration. Comet was also looking less from healthy.

The previous month it emerged that Focus DIY, HMV and Mothercare were closing stores and also this year we have seen administrators appointed at Oddbins, Officers Club and Henleys Clothing.

Loyalty in business is getting very thin on the ground but loyalty on the High Street seems to have packed its bags and said goodbye to the circus. Looking around the average town centre there appears to be few store-specific spendthrifts anymore, just a heaving mass of misers who don’t want to pay the full ticket price for anything.

The idea that this business was “recession proof” has been exposed as a myth but at least the adult retailer does not have a ravenous rival in the guise of his local supermarket eating into his market share – so he has more of a fighting chance of getting through this than most other ‘category’ businesses.

ETO has always supported the retail side of the industry since the day we first appeared and we’ll be increasing our commitment to retail even further over the coming months. Most of the phone calls we get at the office come from retailers who have no one else to turn to for advice or guidance anyway, but we are going to be running even more features to help retail in future issues.

One thing that did appear to give retail a boost last month was the ETO Show at the NEC. I’m not going to berate anyone for not attending but any store owner or online trader who chose to spend the 26th and 27th of June doing something else would have missed some wonderful opportunities.

Finally, I would like to doff my cap to all the winners of the 2011 ETO Adult Industry Awards. Congratulations all!