Theo Paphitis discusses hybrid retailing at Autumn Fair
On day three of Autumn Fair, visitors were treated to an insightful and honest conversation with retail entrepreneur and small business advocate, Theo Paphitis, in which he championed hybrid retail – the mix of physical and online retailing. As well as highlighting the growth in convenience and localised shopping, he urged would-be retailers to take the opportunity now to open physical stores and revealed that his businesses are looking to open more stores and have identified 200 sites to investigate.
He said, “Now is the time to do it, with lower rental costs and lower business rates, I can only see opportunities for physical retail to grow again. There is no better time to open a physical store.”
On the impact of Covid he said, “It’s been the most amazing retail experiment. We’ve had so many conversations in the Board about closing stores over the years, but Covid has been a forced experiment that has allowed us to just focus on online. It has also made customers more used to technology, and now we can enjoy hybrid retailing – giving customers what they want, when they want it, and meeting their different expectations for both.”