The recent collapse of Thomas Cook has highlighted the need for high street brands to adapt to the changing needs of consumers if they are to survive, according to industry experts.
The tour operator, which has seen its share price obliterated, went into administration last Monday, leaving 150,000 holidaymakers stranded.
Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said news of the collapse is "another nail in the coffin for the UK high street, which is now littered with uneconomical stores that are facing closure".
Thomas Cook's demise will see about 600 stores close down, but it is just one casualty of the decline of retailers, with Sainsbury's being the latest to announce store closures in an effort to focus on the "more profitable out-of-town supermarkets".
Mould said: "This is a trend that shows no sign of slowing as the high street continues to lose out to the inexorable rise of online shopping."
The market has clearly picked up on this trend, with high street names among the most shorted stocks in the UK market: stalwarts such as Debenhams, Cineworld Group and Marks & Spencer are among these, with short interest of 10.3%, 7.4% and 5.9% each respectively, according to Research Tree analysis of regulatory disclosures.
Thomas Cook, meanwhile, was the second most shorted stock in the UK market, just behind travel agent John Wood, with short interest standing at 10.7%, which shows many had expected the inevitable collapse.
Fidelity's associate director Ed Monk said it is no surprise Thomas Cook's model of selling package holidays "had become anachronistic in the world of Skyscanner, Expedia and Airbnb".
"That is not to say businesses cannot successfully transition from one model to another, but it is a difficult task and may lead to fewer operators in the market once the dust has settled," he said.
Sanjiv Tumkur, head of equity research at Rathbones, added that conventional tour operators are "structurally challenged businesses facing disintermediation as consumers increasingly switch to the internet and online travel agents for price discovery, information and convenience of booking".
However, he added the travel and leisure sector as a whole is diverse, with "a number of potentially interesting growth areas, and an array of business models, from domestic to global and from cyclical to defensive".
The question now is whether the only remaining tour operator in the UK market, TUI, will survive and thrive in the absence of its largest competitor.
The stock, which is held by fund managers at LGIM, Janus Henderson and EdenTree, according to Morningstar, has seen particularly strong demand from investors in the short term, with shares jumping by 13% since the 20 September to trade at about 950p.
Michael Hewson, chief market analyst for CMC Markets, sees a "significant" improvement in the industry's margins now that Thomas Cook is out of the equation, with competitors picking up "a good chunk" of its business: "Prices have already gone up as a result, which means that a lot of the overcapacity has disappeared."
But Emma-Lou Montgomery, associate director, personal investing at Fidelity International, believes "time will tell whether [TUI] can carve out a viable business when it is so out on its own".