When walking down the modern-day high street it seems a little quieter than years before. The queues seem a little smaller and the shops seem to be disappearing year on year. It starts in our smaller town’s and cities where shoppers are no longer requiring the weekly trip down the high street for their goods. But, it’s slowly starting to affect our major cities. Many shops are unable to bring in shoppers to keep up with their rents and other bills hence why they’re shutting in large numbers.
This loss in highstreet sales is largely affected by the shopping habits of the customer. With technology becoming more and more advanced it’s becoming easier for people to buy their goods online. It’s hassle-free meaning there is no need to be going outside.
Growth of Online
When e-commerce first started many people were unsure whether it was safe to be putting their bank details online. There were worries their details may be stolen along with their money. As time has gone by online shopping has become a lot safer due to various security checks. This has now paved the way for many shops and retailers to implement their own websites and online stores. There has been a transfer in focus to online market places. It’s now estimated by eMarketer that around £476.65 billion will be spent online. This is an increase of £106.46 billion in comparison to last year.
The creation of the one-stop-shop Amazon allowed shoppers to explore hundreds of different products and sellers. Amazon allows the comparison of prices without leaving your home. Even better, you’re now offered next day delivery for a minimal cost, if not free of charge.
The Growth of mobile technology has also allowed people to purchase items whilst on the go making online stores accessible 24/7. This has meant people no longer have to go into stores or the highstreets to find out when a store is having a sale or to find out where to get the cheapest product.
Shops we’ve lost over the years
With people’s shopping habits changing so drastically and rapidly some companies have been unable to keep up with the change. Suffering huge losses in customers and sales many companies have had to claim bankruptcy. Many have entered into administration ending their time on the high street altogether.
Sadly Mothercare was one of the latest victims of the declining high street. After being on the high street for over 50 years starting in 1961 Mothercare has had to close all of their 79 stores losing 2,800 jobs. With the closure of all these stores, Mothercare now only operates online. This reduces their costs and allows them to once more become a profitable business. However, this still leaves a hole in the high street that not many businesses are willing to fill anymore.
Where Mothercare was affected by shoppers attitudes, the closure of Blockbusters was due to their old ways and their unwillingness to change. Despite their already decline in profits in the early 2000’s Blockbuster declined the opportunity to adapt their business strategy and look to allow a streaming service to help improve profits. This lead to their closure in the early 2010s.
Why we need to bring back the high street
According to the Royal Society of Public Health, the high street is a key ingredient to the wellbeing of the population. As well as a great way for people to get out of their own bubbles and encourage communities to work together and help thrive. This comes through having the right types of shops and services on the high street, for example, having things such as libraries and gyms allows the ability to improve the well being of communities and having independent shops allows economic growth of the community.