Ableworld staff member helping customer in retail store

Ableworld’s Founder and Managing Director Mike Williams has argued that whilst “negative press, bad planning, business rates, high costs and car parking” may be killing the high street, bricks & mortar stores in the industry are still able to enjoy success against the internet.

Ableworld's Managing Director and Founder Mike Williams
Mike Williams

The call comes following an announcement by the mobility retailer that 81.5 percent of its total retail sales took place in store reporting year on year sales growth of 14 percent across its own group and 15 percent amongst its franchise group of stores in October 2018.

“Bricks & mortar is still alive and kicking and taking 81.5 percent of retail Sales,” explained Mike.

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“If some stores are sitting there with doom and gloom believing they can’t go against the trend of what they hear on the TV – they are so wrong.”

Recently, the condition of the retail landscape has been making headlines over 2018, with footfall a 7.6 percent footfall decline year-on-year to that of 2017.

Those results follow a 2.5 percent decline in 2016.

A British Retail Consortium spokesperson told the Retail Gazette in December: “Footfall has been declining in the UK as consumer behaviour moves increasingly online to both research products and make purchases.”

Despite worrying footfall trends for high-street retailers, Ableworld’s results reveal that the mobility retail industry

“Anyone sitting there thinking retail as we know it is dead needs to think again. You have to give a good service and ensure you work hard to get and keep those customers, whether they be the end customer, their children or the healthcare professionals,” declared Mike.

“Most of the company/franchise stores are up on sales against last year and in the last 16 weeks since the start of the Financial Year, the company stores/departments we control are up 9.99 percent overall & franchises, along with joint ventures, are up on last year by 13.77 percent in the same period.”

In November’s Retailer Spotlight, Mike gave some insight into the Ableworld’s retail strategy, highlighting that the company does not try to be a boutique and is more comparable to grocery retailers such as Tesco or Asda, focusing on branded products for value for money prices.

“There is so much out there, in a great industry, where we can help and support others, everyone should be proud of being part of it,” finished Mike.

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