The Blockbuster video rental chain, which started in 1989 with a single shop in South-East London, became the third major high street casualty in a week as it collapsed into administration. The demise of their UK arm follows hot on the heels of the collapse of the music store HMV and camera specialist Jessops.

HMV, with its famous gramophone logo, has been trading the longest of the latest affected companies, having been established in July 1921. It now joins a long list of brands, remembered with nostalgic affection, that have been lost. Perhaps the first failure that pulled at the nation’s heartstrings was Woolworth. Many of us remember the thrill of the ‘pick and mix’ counter when we were young. Since then the list of well known brands in trouble has grown, including household names like Blacks Leisure the outdoor sports specialists, Peacocks the fashion chain, Game Group ironically a computer games distributor, JJB Sports the sportswear retailer, Comet the UK’s second largest electrical retailer and of course, the first casualty this week, Jessops the only national UK camera retailer.

Our view:

Many of these companies share a common denominator – the inability to embrace the digital age quickly enough. Some tried, but it was a story of too little too late.

Success depends on having the ability to evolve with the times and doing it quickly. ‘First come, first served” applies as much to the retailer as to the consumer. To survive you have to give customers what they want, and that means – be brutally honest in assessing your performance, be ready to change and do it quickly.

E-commerce is here to stay, and accelerating in popularity with the convenience that mobiles and tablets provide. Customers, armed with a growing array of web-enabled devices, now demand anytime, anywhere access to information and services. You ignore these trends at your peril.

A wider range of retailers now need to think of e-commerce not just as an extra shop front but as their ‘flagship store’. This demands a website that can provide consumers with the best possible on-line experience, regardless of the device they are using.

Here at Total Systems we know customers expect simplicity, speed and security coupled with the ability to choose from a range of offers that give them a reason to buy. So we have designed our software to deliver market leading speed when ‘pricing products’ and return just those options that suit your customer. Our goal is to ensure our clients can stay ‘one step ahead’ and continue to give their customers what they want.