The 2010s have seen the most acute demise of the Great British High Street ever seen. According to a ParcelHero report, the 600,000 stores in the UK in 1950 had fallen to 290,000 by 2012, being depleted further to just 220,000 by 2020.
A further 100,000 shops are set to close by 2030, with the e-commerce revolution showing no signs of abating. Consumer habits have changed dramatically in recent years, with online shopping set to cater for around 40% of all UK retail sales come the end of the next decade.
Earlier this week we focused on major companies that have disappeared from Britain’s High Streets as the shift in consumer spending has taken hold. This time we take a more positive spin, looking at big businesses who were just a twinkle in their creator’s eye back on 1 January 2010…
It’s strange to think, given the amount of Deliveroo bicycles that roam the streets of our major cities nowadays, that Roofoods Ltd was founded in London just six years ago. The online food delivery company now operates out of 200 cities worldwide, and had a four year revenue growth of 107,117% in November 2017 – a UK Technology Fast 50 Awards record.
Deliveroo has adapted the Uber model well – hiring some 20,000 self-employed bike users to courier restaurant orders direct to the customer’s door. The takeaway has been revolutionised, but the business hasn’t been without issues. Drivers have been on strike over pay conditions in London, Berlin, Belgium and the Netherlands to date.
There’s over 300 million active users of the photo and video sharing service – many of whom would much prefer liking photos of eggs than browsing the newsfeed of Facebook, who now own Instagram.
The app was released in October 2010, initially on Apple products only, with an Android version following in April 2012 – the same month Facebook acquired Instagram for around $1 billion. It is now estimated to be worth approximately 35 times that amount.
The Tinder app first came into the lives of singletons during 2012, registering around one billion ‘swipes’ just two years later (no evidence has been forthcoming on what way users have predominantly swiped, however).
By August 2018, Tinder was reporting over 3.8 million paid subscribers – up 81% on the previous year – and it’s now available in more than 40 different languages. It faces strong competition in a heavily saturated market, but Tinder still leads the way as the world’s most popular dating app.
Another product owned by social media giants Facebook, it’s quite amazing to think WhatsApp wasn’t around a decade ago; given how it has displaced text messages in the lives of millions of mobile phone users.
Taken over by Facebook in early 2014 for $19 billion, WhatsApp has continued its growth, launching WhatsApp Business for small business use last year, along with group audio and video call features later in the year.
Not perhaps the household name of the companies named above, but proof that it’s not just social networking firms or those reliant on self-employed workers who have succeeded in the 2010s.
Secret Escapes was founded in London in 2011, and it sells heavily discounted luxury travel to members of its website and mobile app. The firm operates out of 12 countries, has over 19 million members who have bought over 2 million nights in hotel rooms, and secured $60 million in a 2016 funding round.
With not a single leading new High Street brand on our list, it seems clear that the future’s digital. Earlier this year, Informi posed the question as to whether new businesses should bother with a physical presence or just operate in the online-only space. Read our blog with views from leading small businesses on both sides of the debate here.