A view on the High Street
We are constantly being informed that the High Street as we know it is in decline or in some cases moribund. At the same time people, especially in smaller towns and villages, are complaining that they no longer have a butcher, greengrocer, baker, fishmonger, bookshop or other traditional shop, while at the same time every high street seems to have been transformed into a beauty parlour with numerous hair dressers, nail shops, or sun tan parlours interspersed with charity shops, eateries or the low class pound shops.
This decline has even come to the notice of government who appointed Mary Portas to look into how High Streets can be revitalised. Not an easy task for any one and made even more difficult if we look at the reasons for the decline in your high street.
Ask the man in the street and many will state one of 3 reasons, normally starting with parking; “we can’t park without getting a ticket”, “parking is too expensive” or “we park free at Bluewater/Lakeside etc”. Else they will blame high rents and greedy landlords who over charge the poor shopkeeper. Finally shoppers now like the convenience of shopping under cover away from the vagaries of the British weather and motor vehicles; people like to walk in the dry, clean, safe, traffic free shopping centres and not along long wet high streets strewn with litter and difficult to cross roads. All three are contributory factors in the decline; but let’s look at possible causes for the decline. (more…)