Thursday, 7 June 2018

The Demise of the High Street Store.

Having just watched the six o'clock News I see that now House of Fraser is closing over half of its High Street Shopping outlets with the loss of something like six thousand jobs.   Last week it was M and S and now Poundworld is on the verge of collapse.   It does seem as though our shopping habits are rapidly changing out of all recognition.

I suppose it is only to be expected given that on line shopping is so easy and more and more people have computers and so have access to so many more choices without moving out of the comfort of their armchair.   Sad but inevitable I suppose. 

Bus services have been cut to the minimum in country areas and - without sounding feminist - if a family has only one car and Dad uses it for work then I am sure if Mum doesn't drive (and there are still many families like this in country areas) that Dad - if he has to use the car on Saturdays - would agree there are a thousand places he would rather go than shopping.   So it has to be on line shopping for the grocery order and the same for clothes.   And retailers have made it super easy to return things which don't fit and almost always postage is paid.

So we have to adapt.   As to the job losses I don't know what happens there.   Unemployment figures are at their lowest but many of the jobs which have been created are not necessarily paying the minimum wage (there are so many ways of getting round it).

The times they are a changing as somebody said a long time ago (Bob Dylan??) - if it was he then it hasn't happened overnight has it.
 

 

23 comments:

Diana Hyman said...

M & S as in Marks and Spencer? I haven't made it to England yet and that was on my visit list. We have many stores here in the US closing or reducing stores. I fear one day the only way to buy food will be online and we are already too food dependent on big business.

Jacqui Fenner-Dixon said...

I think the demise of our high streets is rather sad. I do believe that once it's all online, small shops will start opening again and people will love the novelty of it. I've had so many bad experiences buying online, wrong sizes, poor quality, that despite the fact that hate shopping, I would rather go and see and try on before buying.

Sandi said...

There is almost nothing I buy in person anymore except groceries and I would have those delivered if I could.

Penhill said...

Small towns seem to be thriving,Barkers in Northallerton knows its clientele,they have spent money on the restaurant and the queues are amazing.Shipston on Stour in Warwickshire where my brother lives,voted best place in England to live,still has butchers,bakers and greengrocers selling local produce.

Bonnie said...

It is sad to see and the same thing is happening here in the states. Some of the jobs have been made up in the new warehouses that open to ship the online goods. But not everyone would want to work in a warehouse I would think. I admit I am at fault of buying most everything online these days. It is not only easier but often less expensive.

crafty cat corner said...

I really lament the demise of the big stores. Here in Brighton we had several lovely stores that stocked more or less everything you wanted. I don't like buying online as I prefer to see what I'm buying and have been disappointed so many times with things bought online. But I guess I'll have to get used to it as I have had to get used to so many other things.
Briony
x

justjill said...

One things for sure the fat cats wont lose out as they sell off all the buildings, whereas the work force will.

Bettina Groh said...

Here ordering online and having it delivered to your home within an hour is catching on.... and free if your order is large enough... suburb of Kansas City, MO

Joanne Noragon said...

No, not overnight. The world is changing, and not overnight, either. I wonder how my grandchildren will be dealing with it.

John Gray said...

House of Fraser just hasn't changed with the times

Heather said...

It is a rapidly spreading disease. In our small town we have far too many empty shops and more than our fair share of charity shops, though without those there would be more empty ones. Here it is a case of greedy landlords charging exorbitant rents, so a business is on it's knees before it gets going. As you say, many of us shop online and that is a boon for those who don't like having to go to large towns to buy clothes, etc.
Marks and Spencer was wonderful back in the 80s when you could buy clothes without trying them on and know they would fit you. The quality was better then as well. I never did care much for House of Fraser and preferred John Lewis.

Rachel Phillips said...

It's going through the lot like a forest fire, except Primark.

Chris Elliot said...

I have never shopped online and never intend to. I like to check things out before purchasing and couldn't be bothered with the nuisance of returning something that didn't fit or was not what I wanted. Having said that, I can walk to the local mall in 20 minutes if need be!

Susan Heather said...

How sad. I haven't been back to the U.K. since 1987 but I always bought lots from M & S on my trips "home". In those days, their quality was excellent and prices good. I don't know about now.

It is the same the world over. Here in New Zealand shopping centres have more and more food shops (cafes, burger bars etc.) I always try and buy locally if I can but so often can only get what I want by buying on line.

Cro Magnon said...

I suppose we'll just have to accept that High Streets are no longer major shopping streets. Charity shops, bookmakers, coffee bars, and building societies will take over completely. I, for one, will no longer bother.

Librarian said...

Here in Germany, ordering groceries online has not yet really caught on. I, for instnace, would like to have some heavier stuff delivered, as I do not drive and have to carry everything home on foot. But I wouldn't trust the delivery to be on time - I would have to be home, wouldn't I, but I am usually out for work all day. Also, how do they solve the problem of items that need cooling, such as butter, milk, cheese, meat etc.?
I also must say I enjoy doing my shopping the "traditional" way, looking at what's on offer, comparing, choosing. When it comes to clothes, I love trying things on.
Online shopping is certainly ideal for those who live far away from the shops and/or are immobile for health reasons, but I am glad I can easily walk the 10 minutes into town centre and even less to the nearest grocery store and a bakery.

thelma said...

House of Fraser, Debenhams and maybe even M&S are like large 'white elephants' sitting in the room waiting for a rehash. It is a bit like romanticising the old Sainsbury shops with bacon being cut at the counter, society is moving on. Of course it will bring another problem - unemployed people, who the hell wants to work in Amazon though?

No Roots said...

I wonder if Primark own their own stores, hence no landlords to deal with?

The landlords of much of the retail space are actually your pension funds :s so CVAs really are cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Germany will catch up some day. However, it has left other countries so sort out the details.
Locker boxes, collection 'shops' and delivery in returnable themos boxes.

Rachel Phillips said...

Primark is run by a very astute family, the Weston family, part of Associated British Foods. They also own British Sugar, and through an investment vehicle, Fortnam and Mason. Primark generates the most profits. I am always banging on about them!

You are right about the CVAs. I would not want to be over exposed in commercial property investments at the moment either.

Midmarsh John said...

I do most of my shopping on line these days. No seeking out expensive parking spaces. No lugging heavy bags back to the car. No wandering for what seems miles round supermarket aisles trying to find out where they moved my favourite items this month. I can save my energy for pleasant walks with the four legged boss.

The Weaver of Grass said...

So many interesting points you all make - too many to answer individually but thank you for contributing to the debate. You are, of course, all right - it is just the way things are going.

solitary-cyclist said...

I think there's the question of the choice department stores offer. They always seemed to me to offer a narrower range of things in each department than specialist shops. In an internet environment, I imagine that makes it even harder for them than for the smaller specialist.

It's not just about people being lazy. People live under more pressure than they used to and on less money. If you can choose exactly what you want and get it delivered to your house, possibly for less, then that is inevitably the way it'll go. Smart players on the high street have turned themselves into internet retailers.

I think I've set foot in that Darlington shop about twice. I've never bought anything there: I can't think of anything they might sell that I wouldn't be more likely to buy elsewhere.

I'm really Sackerson - solitary cyclist is my other blog. For some reason a lot of blogger blogs only seem to accept google sign-ins all of a sudden. Hardly healthy for blogging: it says a lot for bloggers that they persist despite all the hoops they already have to jump through, clicking on pictures of roadsigns, shopfronts and "Sidewalks". Bah.

https://sackerson.wordpress.com

dono jono said...
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