Shopping in Coventry is set to become more of a social
experience following the rise of e-commerce, according to the people responsible for
attracting people to the city centre.
New developments such as the £38 million project in the Lower Precinct should ensure
that there will be a steady flow of shoppers.
And some groups of people are always going to want to go out shopping together rather
than use a computer, they believe.
Millett, chief executive of the City Centre Company said stores should be aware of the
threat that shopping on the internet could pose.
But she also believes that it could be an opportunity for city centres to change focus.
While people may increasingly turn to the web for day-to-day needs, shops will continue
Ms Millett said:
"In some ways e-commerce is like a sophisticated form of mail order.
"It might present some problems, but there will be new opportunities coming from
this. New distribution networks will be required, and city centres might become a place
where people can pick up the goods they ordered.
"Our first job is to make sure that Coventrians continue to use the city centre
and in the longer term we need to start to draw people in the from the hinterland."
Ritchley, chief executive of Coventry Building Society, said he expected evolution instead
of revolution in the market place.
"Weve got 14 branch offices in Coventry and dont expect pensioners to
be deserting them in favour of the internet.
"To be physically going somewhere to do something is going to be important for a
long time to come."