Comment: Let your customers 'bounce on beds'

Comment: Let your customers 'bounce on beds'

Back in 2008 Hays Travel founder John Hays predicted a long drawn-out recovery from recession.

His pessimism turned out not to be misplaced, but now he describes himself as a real optimist having seen more than just the green shoots of recovery on the high street.

He’s in talks to take on a number of closing Thomas Cook shops and reported 10 consecutive months of year-on-year profit growth in his own branches.

Could investing in the high street not be that crazy an idea?

On Tuesday, BBC News featured Screwfix, a former online-only hardware supplier, which has been opening a retail store a week for the past few years due to customer demand.

It also showcased an online fashion retailer that has opened bricks-and-mortar outlets, likewise a bed store allowing customers to ‘bounce on the beds’ before they buy.

With Amazon now having in-person collection points, what is the chance of this online giant having retail showrooms?

A few anecdotes don’t add up to a trend, but while the convenience of shopping online has met pent-up demand, many continue to enjoy the real-life retail experience.

The online v offline debate continues to rage as travel agent group Advantage prepares for its annual overseas conference this week.

And on Tuesday night, Mary Queen of the High Street hit our TV screens as celebrity retail guru Mary Portas attempts to breathe life back into three town centres.

The challenge for a sector selling products that can’t truly be experienced in-store is to find a way to offer its own version of ‘bounce on the beds’.

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