Shop Online v’s The Highstreet
Several years ago as a town we waited with batted breath to see what they were going to do with our failing, old and dated town. They built a new shopping area next to the old one. Lots of new shops waiting to be filled. Two existing shops relocated to the new area and we did have a few new shops join them. Within a year the new shops were gone again.
We were back to depressing empty shops. But then we had new excitement. Two of the units were being knocked into one. We all got excited again. What would it be? A lovely big Next to get us shopping again? Maybe a department store? Were keen to get something good because the current choice to have a girly shop is rather lacking. We have New Look, Dorothy Perkins (upstairs above Burtons, very clever seeing as they are marketing to young mums with children and pushchairs) and TK Max. That’s it unless you’re a surfer as we do have a surf shop too.
So back to drum roll. What is going into the lovely now huge space? A 99p Store. We already have a pound land.
I think long gone are the days you spent the day in town looking at the shops. If we want that we now jump in the car for half an hour and go to the nearest town that does have more choice. But to put it plainly the cost of driving there in fuel, car parking and the whole hassle just doesn’t make it appealing.
But then towns aren’t doing themselves any favours. Car parking is expensive and stupidly its cheaper to stay for an hour than 2 or more, hardly entices you to stay longer and spend more.
But it’s not all the towns fault. Why would I dig out my willies and waterproofs to trudge around town when I can sit in the comfort of my own home, feet up, cuppa in hand and have a leisurely online shop at zalando. The cost of delivery is cheaper than paying for car parking and I’ve not got wet or cold in the process.
Lastly what sort of image is giving out to new businesses wanting to join our town? If they have done their homework they will know our town has the biggest catchment area in the countywhich, on paper, looks like there will be lots of people to buy. But if they see where a town of 99p stores and Poundlands doesn’t it portray as all being rather poor?