By Paul Skeldon

A burst of sunshine and hot weather across Northern Europe in June and early July saw a much-needed boost to footfall – and paddling pool and beer sales – but it’s a blip. Figures from BRC and Gfk both point to consumer confidence being at an all-time low and as the weather slides into ‘holiday’ mode (ie not very nice) things are likely to get worse.

While there is nothing that retailers can do about Brexit and falling wages directly, there is much they can do to try and reverse the decline – using technology.

It is a long running argument, but one that is now imperative. As has been written about across Internet Retailing in the past months, augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality (AR, VR and MR) along with artificial intelligence (AI) are all likely contenders to make in store shopping more attractive. But these are long term solutions – well the first three are, AI is starting to make in-roads into marketing as I type – what the high street needs now are immediate fixes.

As our Guest Opinion this week points out, retailers face an up-hill battle. ‘generation now’ is very different to previous shoppers. Around 40% of 18-34 year olds would happily buy online; 77% of them already use self-serve checkouts when they do venture into stores, because they are quicker and more efficient.

Catering to this is key – but what can you do? The simplest approach – and that can be implemented quickly is simply to make online and in-store arms of…