‘Fake News’: Who Is Telling the Truth?
20 November 2018
Author: Jasmine Waters
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably all too familiar with the idea of ‘fake news’. More media outlets and supposedly trustworthy sources have turned to producing fiction rather than fact, leaving the rest of us to start to question what the truth may be. With retail infamously hard to predict, what should we really believe about the current state of the market?
What is being reported?
According to the accountancy firm PwC, approximately 14 shops close every day as high streets across the country face their toughest trading climate in five years. Regardless of where you sit on the retail food chain - brand, buyer or consumer – we are all well aware of the effects of the current social and financial climate on how we interact with the purchasing process. For the most part, the statistics we see reported often have a strong ring of truth behind them. The physical fashion experience has continued to suffer at the hands of the ease of online buying, accounting for the lack of stability we often see. But with big, angry stats relentlessly quoted at us, such as 2,692 shops shutting across the UK in the first half of 2018, it can be difficult to tell how much is journalistic scaremongering, as opposed to media outlets just telling it how it is.
Is there hope for UK retail?
Alongside the scary decline in the presence of shops we often read about, others speak of a new wave of hope on the horizon. According to Drapers, the number of independent retailers in the UK is forecast to creep up 0.3% by 2023, despite the difficult conditions the high street continues to face. More consumers are putting their faith (and cash) into these local or independent stores, which have the ability to be more flexible in the face of change than many big businesses. The want for the physical shopping experience hasn’t so much disappeared, but has changed and evolved with the times, and most importantly, the new needs of the consumer. Through this seemingly never-ending period of ‘unprecedented change’, those can that adapt will survive, regardless of constant media spin. While ‘fake news’ may continue to be at large, we do have to face what we see – there is no question that retail is working through a pretty tough time. But the negative atmosphere the press has created is best taken with a pinch of salt – seek out and interpret the best of the information available, instead of letting it speak for you.
Image Credit: Pennlive.com