Wednesday, 8 February 2017

High street shopping - has the time come to say goodbye?

Hi everyone! Auntie H here, sorry I've not posted anything for a while, it's been a busy few weeks. (how on earth can it be the 8th of February already?!) I've got a few ideas for posts which I'll be bringing to you over the next few weeks.

Today I'm going to discuss high street shopping: has the ease of online shopping and better accessibility to large shopping centres sealed the fate of high street retailers everywhere?

Now I personally don't shop in my local town nearly as often as I used to. Working an office job means I find it far easier to shop online, at the click of a button I can have my goods delivered to my door (for no extra delivery cost most of the time.)
Growing up with technology becoming more readily available and huge advances being made in the form of the Internet, smartphones and tablets, when I need something the internet is usually the first place I look. My days off are generally planned around seeing my family, doing shows and spending some time with my OH, not wandering around the shops trying to find what I'm looking for and giving up in frustration when I just can't find it.
I find on the occasions when I do venture out that it's difficult to get everything I need in just my local town. There's always something I need to venture further afield for.
There is an area in my town called Ayr Central which is partially covered and houses several big retailers like Primark, New Look and Debenhams. There is also a Costa and Subway so you can enjoy some food and drink while you shop. Ayr Central is about a minute (if that) from the main high street but it's like 2 different worlds. Central is new, fresh and modern whilst the high street is rundown. We have a large number of charity shops, pawnbrokers and discount stores (not to mention the empty shops all boarded up) This puts me off when I do visit, it's like a vicious circle: people spending money elsewhere causing shops to shut down, and then the volume of boarded up shops and lack of variety putting people off from shopping in the town.

Ayr High Street - boarded up
Now Ayr is not all that far from Glasgow and East Kilbride. In October last year a bus link was made available from Ayr to Hamilton via Kilmarnock and Silverburn. Silverburn: a place where you can spend an entire day and not get bored. Plenty of shops, different eateries and a cinema, all under one roof. Indoors, so the weather doesn't bother you, and extremely easy to get to. Why go out in the pouring rain to several different towns to get what you need when it's all there for you in one place. Same goes for East Kilbride shopping centre. Glasgow City Centre has several shopping malls, easy transport links and entertainment in the form of buskers up and down the streets.

I can see why high street retailers are struggling. How can they compete in a world of technology and shopping centres? In a report by PwC (Pricewaterhouse Coopers, a multinational professional services firm), in 2016 they revealed that in the first 6 months of the year an average of 15 shops closed everyday all over the UK. 2656 shops in total! The numbers are astounding, but is there really anything we can do to help? Or has it gone too far to save? Would retailers benefit from offering more online services and shutting shops? Can they survive in the dog eat dog world of the Internet and maintain the same amount of jobs? And what about all of our independent shops, the ones which sell comics, retro items, unique gifts and more. Those are my favourite to visit, the ones which make me actually want to go to the high street. Family run businesses like butchers and bakers.

What do you think? Can our high streets be saved?

Charity shops are suffering too

1 comment:

  1. I am with you Heather, good old Amazon Prime makes a fortune from our family, so much easier and with you the next day.
    I detest shopping and only do so when necessary and do not go shopping for the pleasure of it.


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