I’d spoken to a few friends recently about the future of high street shopping. The first instance being that I work in a wine shop which is looking to expand by opening up another shop. My friend is the reason I work in a wine shop, her dad owns the company and offered some work to keep me tiding over after being put on a zero hours contract at Spoons. As you can imagine in today’s world, a lot of business comes through online and in a pandemic that seemingly won’t go away opening a new store isn’t high on the agenda.
Speaking to my friend, I struggled to see a way how the high street would still be around in a few years time. The pandemic has had a huge effect on most businesses, for sure but, it’s something that has been happening over time. The high street is dying. A generation has grown up to be more money conscious and would rather browse online at multiple retailers where deals can be found in an instant. Online, we don’t have to dip in and out of stores to compare prices or say to the shop assistant that we might be back. My friend was convinced that the high street needed saving, but the reality is with just those small reasons – do we want to?
The second friend I spoke to likes to keep his eyes on stocks, business deals anything of the sort. So when Debenhams sold to BooHoo for £55 million, I knew I could spark up a conversation with him. Of course I was gutted for the 10,000 jobs lost as Boohoo decided to close all stores indefinitely, but I saw it as a sign of the times. Why would Boohoo, who have made a very successful business model from online only services keep the stores of Debenhams open which have been failing for years? As my friend rightly put – If I worked in Debenhams, I’d have started my job search months/years ago.
Nothing really stops us from going our phones to complete meaningless tasks anymore, shopping has become one of those meaningless tasks. Whilst I will miss the experience of shopping in-store and being able to see things before purchasing, I like the non-hassle of ordering online. I do it with most of my food nowadays and hardly have to leave the sofa, why should shopping for anything else be any different.
We’re buying digital currencies, every movie we could ever want to watch is just a few button clicks away, and my Amazon wish list makes shopping for me much easier.
So what do you think – Will the high street find a way to survive or will it die?