Are we losing our High Street?

Emma Hogan 30 November 2018

Here today, gone tomorrow

Over the last 12 months news outlets have bombarded us with headlines of high street doom and gloom. Fashion, home, tech retailers have all found themselves in trouble; giants such as House of Fraser now expect to close 31 out of their 59 stores and favourite fashion retailers such as New Look are among the many announcing 100s of jobs loses.

Is online shopping the culprit?

Online shopping and access to a global market impacts the way we spend our money.  As we become a more digital society, online shopping has become the norm – but why are we shopping online?

  • Cheaper:
    • The online mass marketplace means we can find the items we want at more competitive prices.
    • Lower overheads for online only businesses translate into cheaper prices for us
    • Access to foreign marketplaces such as eBay, AliExpress etc. means better access to cheaper alternatives
    • Online voucher codes are now a standard – who likes to pay full price OR for delivery?
    • Online alerts can be set up to inform us when the the items we want are on sale ensuring we buy them at the best possible price – gone are the days of trudging into town or phoning the store for information.
  • Convenient:
    • From the comfort of our sofas (or beds!) we can buy what we want, whenever we want. Fancy buying yourself a gazebo at 3am? No problem, get yourself logged onto Amazon and with Prime delivery get it next day.
  • More choice:
    • Those who love to shop love choice.  Why spend hours in town searching for the perfect gift when a Google search can give you the same results in seconds across almost every retailer in the UK and beyond?

In actual fact, although our shopping habits are shifting to the online arena, online shopping is also proving to be a saviour for long standing retailers, proving profitable where their bricks and mortar stores aren’t.  So online shopping isn’t the culprit alone, a combination of our changing shopping behaviour, slow reactions from retailers and external factors such as rate rises are all contributing to the loss of our High Street.

Can the High Street stand the test of time?

With so much attention surrounding the decline in High Street shopping, we wanted to see what you think. We polled 120 panellists to find out more about your shopping behaviour:

Here’s what you had to say…

So it’s not all bad news; High Street profits are inevitably falling, unsurprising with 45% of our panellists commenting that they both browse and shop online.  However, with 40% of us still choosing shop in-store, there’s definitely still room in our lives for the traditional High Street.

Are you still an in-store shopper or online shopping expert? We’d love to hear about your shopping habits – tell us all about it via FacebookTwitterInstagram.