I think this is part of a subtle plot to encourage more people to buy online. Once you get to that point you can close all your expensive stores, sack all your expensive staff and just send out stuff direct from the Warehouse, like Amazon do. Much smaller payroll and lots of lovely land to sell off to developers who can build rabbit hutches on the site for £200k a pop.
Won't happen overnight, but I'm convinced this is what they want. People who don't want it will have to go to the (more expensive) "convenience" stores.