Comet’s imminent fall into administration has once again highlighted the precarious position that many high street retailers find themselves in thanks to a flagging economy and a general consumer shift towards e-commerce.
The news is perhaps more surprising as, unlike many of its competitors, Comet had begun to alter its business model and integrate digital and mobile technology in-store as part of its multichannel strategy.
However analysts suggest it was too little too late, as successive owners had failed to see the benefits of e-commerce in a competitive market and the company also saw revenue from its audio visual products fall away as consumers moved to combined platforms on smartphones and tablets.
So Comet’s demise shouldn’t be seen as evidence that multichannel retailing can’t work on the high street.
In fact data from House of Fraser shows that the use of digital technologies in-store can improve both sales and the customer experience.