High Street Shopping
Having just watched another debate on question time, I am frustrated again at the rhetoric of the politicians on our highstreet, which is as follows:
- That it’s sad that our high-street shops are closing
- That high street shopping can’t compete with online shopping, because the latter is a cheaper business to run
- That there’s nothing that can be done about this
There seems to be very little talk about any of the reasons why I shop online rather than going to the high street, which are as follows:
- That shopping online is cheaper than the highstreet
- That I (and also Joey) work between 9-5.30 on weekdays, and are often busy at weekends – while the shops are only open 9-5
- That more than 50% of the shops on the highstreet are clothing shops, and most of the rest are banks, travel centres, jewellery shops, pubs, newsagents and estate agents. (1)
- That public transport links into the town centre are expensive, unreliable and slow.
(1) There are four excellent shops we do go into town to visit on a semi-regular basis – because they offer a better selection, value, or experience than online shopping.
To be honest, that’s about it – none of these shops we visit in town are remotely close to the others, and many of the stranger things I might want to buy simply aren’t available.
If you want me to shop in the highstreet, you need to do three things, ideally altogether.
- Improve public transport so that it’s easy, reliable and cheap to get a bus into town
- Increase the diversity in the shops available, so that there is a greater range of products on offer.
- Have shops open in evenings.
This would attract me a lot more than spending £100,000 renovating 15 random town centres around the country…