Today the BBC announced around 14 shops are closing every day, as UK High Streets face the toughest trading climate in five years.
High street businesses face growing competition from online retailers with it becoming ever-more popular due to the shopper convenience. But, it’s not just the high street businesses affected, there’s a wider impact on the many people in those communities who rely on local shops and services - they are seeing their high street disappear, and with it a sense of community.
This is something we have recognised as an energy supplier and why we are already on a mission. We are not only helping Britain’s hardworking businesses access a fairer energy deal but we have bucked the trend by opening our first Utilita Energy store on the high street. Speaking at the opening of our first store in Gosport, Hampshire which put energy shops back on the map - CEO Bill Bullen said ‘A lot of people are deserting the high street but we want to support the high street and the communities to bring back a face to face relationship’.
It's been widely reported than loneliness is fast becoming one of the biggest issues in the UK right now and the high street often provides individuals with a sense of belonging, and feeling like part of a community. At recent Utilita Customer Focus Groups, our customers voiced they felt that having a place where they could come in, have a coffee and a chat can brighten up their day and make them feel more reassured when having any questions or concerns regarding our energy service.
Furthermore, not everyone in the UK has access to internet, smart phones and PCs – there is still a great appetite for a face to face shopping experience, and that is something that should not be forgotten. We feel passionate about the need for the high street to remain, and we will continue to ‘Power’ and support the UK High Street with our plans to expand our line of Utilita Energy Stores. Watch this space…
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