Is it fair to say the high street is done for now then?

Jon

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I would say that we are NEVER going to go back to 'how it used to be'.

More and more shops shut up, what a city centre is in 2019 is NOW what it was in 2000 at all!

It's all about places to eat, places offering experiences (crazy golf, escape rooms, cinemas etc)

Can anyone see it going back to how things were? We were thinking about buying a laptop and I was like, well we can go in PC world and check out the weight of the things and then just go online and buy it cheaper elsewhere!!

Online shopping is just the norm now and I think retail shops who pay staff, rent, maintenance costs are just a thing of the past!!
 

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Dad and I have just been talking about the changes in our main road shops. There are less than 50 and over the years the butcher, baker, fish shop, laundry - self service and old style, decorating shop, clothes shop, petcare store, 2 greengrocers, chemist, habidashery, a couple of newsagents and Coop have all gone. There is now a Sainsburys, Farmfoods and Aldi near by but the lost ones have been replaced with fast food and convenience stores.
 

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Indeed. I think its a crying shame but maybe thats because i like to cling onto the past too much.

Not just the high street. When I was little we used to have two parades of local shops within a mile of my house. The smaller one had a grocery store, hairdressers, junk shop, off licence and fish and chip shop.

Now the whole thing has gone and its a block of flats.

The bigger parade had a post office, off licence, green grocers, butchers, bakers, hairdressers, baber ,bookmaker, pet shop, haberdashers, ironmongers VHS rental shop, Co-op and a chinese takeaway.

Now there are 2 hairdressers, a beauty salon and a tanning shop, 4 or 5 takeaways or pizza places, several shops knocked into 1 big Co-op and several empty shops. The only surviving shops from when I was little are the ironmongers (which I swear still has most of the same stock it had 40 years ago too), and the barbers.
 

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Our town centre is like a ghost town. There seems to be more and more boarded up shops each time I go in - which isn't often now as there isn't anything worth going in for.
In the last few months, we've had Thorntons, Next, Argos, Wallis, Costa and Top Shop close and there is talk of closing a Morrisons superstore in the next month too.
It seems to be a catch 22 situation- the council want to bring in more people, but the shops are closing because people aren't coming in.
I must admit I buy as much stuff as I can online now, and most people I know do the same.
I think there is still a place for some shops, for example people will always want to pop out for a loaf of bread or pint of milk. The corner shops seem to be doing well for just that reason.
Like everything, things change and the future of town centres will change with it. I think more social things will bring people in. Maybe a park area, nice eateries, cinemas and such will be the way to go, with just a few smaller shops for things people always need like groceries, DIY bits and some clothing and footwear.
 

The Reverend

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I would say that we are NEVER going to go back to 'how it used to be'.

More and more shops shut up, what a city centre is in 2019 is NOW what it was in 2000 at all!

It's all about places to eat, places offering experiences (crazy golf, escape rooms, cinemas etc)

Can anyone see it going back to how things were? We were thinking about buying a laptop and I was like, well we can go in PC world and check out the weight of the things and then just go online and buy it cheaper elsewhere!!

Online shopping is just the norm now and I think retail shops who pay staff, rent, maintenance costs are just a thing of the past!!
This was discussed on a podcast I was recently on.


I think that the high-street will morph/transform and it will become more like the high street of the 50's - independent shops will rise up as people want to visit a butchers, bakers, etc.

Living in That London we can see it coming. There are lots of closed shops but after time the 'pop-ups' appear and then these turn into actual stores.

Property prices (and business rates) are killing the high street at the moment but this will change.

:)
 

Jon

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Dad and I have just been talking about the changes in our main road shops. There are less than 50 and over the years the butcher, baker, fish shop, laundry - self service and old style, decorating shop, clothes shop, petcare store, 2 greengrocers, chemist, habidashery, a couple of newsagents and Coop have all gone. There is now a Sainsburys, Farmfoods and Aldi near by but the lost ones have been replaced with fast food and convenience stores.
Yeah that's happened a LOT in Leeds. The only places I see the likes of bakers, butchers, fishmongers etc is out of the city in built up housing areas!


Indeed. I think its a crying shame but maybe thats because i like to cling onto the past too much.

Not just the high street. When I was little we used to have two parades of local shops within a mile of my house. The smaller one had a grocery store, hairdressers, junk shop, off licence and fish and chip shop.

Now the whole thing has gone and its a block of flats.

The bigger parade had a post office, off licence, green grocers, butchers, bakers, hairdressers, baber ,bookmaker, pet shop, haberdashers, ironmongers VHS rental shop, Co-op and a chinese takeaway.

Now there are 2 hairdressers, a beauty salon and a tanning shop, 4 or 5 takeaways or pizza places, several shops knocked into 1 big Co-op and several empty shops. The only surviving shops from when I was little are the ironmongers (which I swear still has most of the same stock it had 40 years ago too), and the barbers.
I remember the days of 'parades of shops' - Growing up in Norwich there used to be LOADS of them but they are now pretty much all deralict and lost their appear when a Tesco Superstar would open up around the corner but even now it seems the big supermarkets are struggling!


Our town centre is like a ghost town. There seems to be more and more boarded up shops each time I go in - which isn't often now as there isn't anything worth going in for.
In the last few months, we've had Thorntons, Next, Argos, Wallis, Costa and Top Shop close and there is talk of closing a Morrisons superstore in the next month too.
It seems to be a catch 22 situation- the council want to bring in more people, but the shops are closing because people aren't coming in.
I must admit I buy as much stuff as I can online now, and most people I know do the same.
I think there is still a place for some shops, for example people will always want to pop out for a loaf of bread or pint of milk. The corner shops seem to be doing well for just that reason.
Like everything, things change and the future of town centres will change with it. I think more social things will bring people in. Maybe a park area, nice eateries, cinemas and such will be the way to go, with just a few smaller shops for things people always need like groceries, DIY bits and some clothing and footwear.
Crikey that's a LOT of closures! Even in corner shops there seems to be quite a lot of competition. Our one has just closed because a LONDIS is being build about 100 meters down the road which apparently offers booze at a much cheaper price than corner shops can afford to do!!

I agree that social things is where we seem to be heading. Create things to get people INTO the middle of the city again as shopping clearly isn't doing that anymore

This was discussed on a podcast I was recently on.


I think that the high-street will morph/transform and it will become more like the high street of the 50's - independent shops will rise up as people want to visit a butchers, bakers, etc.

Living in That London we can see it coming. There are lots of closed shops but after time the 'pop-ups' appear and then these turn into actual stores.

Property prices (and business rates) are killing the high street at the moment but this will change.

:)
how do you think property prices / rates are going to change? Hasn't that problem been around for YEARS now

Parking is also a HUGE factor when it comes to going into town. We tend to park at the cheapest multi story carpark in Leeds if we are going in as paying £5 for a few hours isn't too appealing.

Sometimes we even get the train in which again limits how much we can spend and carry with us if we are going shopping! - Don't have all these issues if I just shop online!
 

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Huddersfield's new town centre masterplan is basically to knock down an underused shopping centre, create an open space (a bit like Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester or Sheffield's Peace Gardens), and concentrate what retail is left along a refreshed high street.

It certainly seems like a 'managed decline' approach, though they'd argue that they're creating cultural spaces and re-zoning the town to reflect how the world is now.

Town centres are a symptom of wider changes: giant corporations (online retailers, supermarkets, technology and media groups) have swept away independent businesses. Similar things are going to happen in other sectors too with the rise of AI - regional solicitors and accountants will be gone in 20 years time too.
 

The Reverend

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how do you think property prices / rates are going to change? Hasn't that problem been around for YEARS now

Parking is also a HUGE factor when it comes to going into town. We tend to park at the cheapest multi story carpark in Leeds if we are going in as paying £5 for a few hours isn't too appealing.

Sometimes we even get the train in which again limits how much we can spend and carry with us if we are going shopping! - Don't have all these issues if I just shop online!
Business lease rates have to drop. In London there are shops with 3-6 months free rent periods as it is better to have a shop occupied than empty.

Occupied shops help to create a busy high street.

I live in London, parking is a nightmare everywhere. Clapham Common parking is £3 an hour during the day. But I do have great public transport which means it is often cheaper to bus/tube it somewhere rather than drive and park.

We will have a shopping revolution with a two-tiered shopping environment. Imagine a high street of Waitrose and an out of town shopping centre of Lidls.

:)
 

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My local high street in London has a new small shopping centre with a Wilko's, lidls, super drug but we have also lost a lot of banks and have no clothes shops left. I try to buy as much as I can locally as I don't want to lose the convenience of walking to do my shopping. I think it's a bit sad as although online is cheaper, local shopping gets you out of the house, meeting neighbours and local people but I have the time to do this and I know most people don't. I do feel local councils are deluded, my one still believes the answer to regeneration is retail and has refused to support a local cultural arts project instead pinning hopes that the unused building can be turned into a shop or a restaurant. But there are so many empty shops already that this strategy is just not realistic! It makes more sense to at least try the arts route.
 

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My local high street in London has a new small shopping centre with a Wilko's, lidls, super drug but we have also lost a lot of banks and have no clothes shops left. I try to buy as much as I can locally as I don't want to lose the convenience of walking to do my shopping. I think it's a bit sad as although online is cheaper, local shopping gets you out of the house, meeting neighbours and local people but I have the time to do this and I know most people don't. I do feel local councils are deluded, my one still believes the answer to regeneration is retail and has refused to support a local cultural arts project instead pinning hopes that the unused building can be turned into a shop or a restaurant. But there are so many empty shops already that this strategy is just not realistic! It makes more sense to at least try the arts route.
The worst thing is all those empty shops if they do re-open as something tend to be 99p type stores all offering the same tat as every other 99p store which is hardly going to end up bringing people in

I think even 'out of town' shopping places struggle

The White Rose Centre which is a HUGE shopping complex outside of Leeds had a MAJOR expansion a year or two back which put in zero new shops and instead added an Imax cinema and a load of resturants that weren't there

Trafford centre outside Manchester pulls people in for similar reasons with a mini-legoland being attached to it!
 
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In Liverpool they have a number of "out of town" type centres in the City. They are not as big as the proper out of town ones and tend to have the same stores - Boots, Next, Marks and Spencer's, The Range, Curry's, phone shops, food and drink outlets. Parking is usually possible but not necessarily near to the shop you want. The nearest one to me is by the Racecourse so a couple of miles and stops me going to the City centre.
 

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By us in Bristol there are several ethnic communities and they all seem to be developing their own high streets with Chinese supermarkets, Indian restaurants, Polish grocers etc. It seems to be the bland mid price clothing stores that are going. Bristol built huge shopping malls at Cribs Causeway and Cabot Circus just before the downturn.
 
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There’s new things happening in Blackpool, if you don’t include the tourist type shops and the prom. The town centre had a revamp a few years ago, to tart up the shopping centre, so quite a few shops moved out of their town centre location and into the shopping centre, the shopping centre is still within the “town centre” just on the outskirts.

So that left quite a few empty shops on the streets.

What I’m seeing now is these bigger brands, Poundland, Argos, TK Maxx etc are now moving to retail/industrial parks out of the town centre, occasionally a company will have multiple shops dotted around but most of the time they shut the town centre store and move it into a more urban area.

There’s two of these retail type parks that have popped up near us in the last few years.

I don’t think it’s just the internet that is killing the high street, I think that might have started it but the choices that companies are now making, moving out of the town centre to save on rents and rates is also adding to the problem.
 
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This was discussed on a podcast I was recently on.


I think that the high-street will morph/transform and it will become more like the high street of the 50's - independent shops will rise up as people want to visit a butchers, bakers, etc.

Living in That London we can see it coming. There are lots of closed shops but after time the 'pop-ups' appear and then these turn into actual stores.

Property prices (and business rates) are killing the high street at the moment but this will change.

:)
Have to say I agree with you! The house we're moving to has lots of small independent shops in a shopping centre and I'm looking forward to walking there to shop at a butchers and a few of the other shops and to cut down on visiting the town. Even the post office there is inside another shop, and I'm so excited to have some local shops that aren't a huge chain.
 
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The Reverend

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Have to say I agree with you! The house we're moving to has lots of small independent shops in a shopping centre and I'm looking forward to walking there to shop at a butchers and a few of the other shops and to cut down on visiting the town. Even the post office there is inside another shop, and I'm so excited to have some local shops that aren't a huge chain.
I think it is the way forward - People are willing to pay a little more, to get a little less, if the experience is a positive one.

Its all well and good saving £10+ on a weekly shop at Aldi but when you buy a Child's tent/band-saw/Illuminated mirror from the middle aisles, your £10 saving becomes a £20 over-spend!

:)
 

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There’s new things happening in Blackpool, if you don’t include the tourist type shops and the prom. The town centre had a revamp a few years ago, to tart up the shopping centre, so quite a few shops moved out of their town centre location and into the shopping centre, the shopping centre is still within the “town centre” just on the outskirts.

So that left quite a few empty shops on the streets.

What I’m seeing now is these bigger brands, Poundland, Argos, TK Maxx etc are now moving to retail/industrial parks out of the town centre, occasionally a company will have multiple shops dotted around but most of the time they shut the town centre store and move it into a more urban area.

There’s two of these retail type parks that have popped up near us in the last few years.

I don’t think it’s just the internet that is killing the high street, I think that might have started it but the choices that companies are now making, moving out of the town centre to save on rents and rates is also adding to the problem.
Those 'out of town' retail parks are ALL the same now, aren't they!

Costa
Petsathome
HomeBargains / B&M
M&S Food
JD Sports
Argos
Asda Home

You can put money on at least 50% of those stores being in the retail park lol
 

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I think it is the way forward - People are willing to pay a little more, to get a little less, if the experience is a positive one.

Its all well and good saving £10+ on a weekly shop at Aldi but when you buy a Child's tent/band-saw/Illuminated mirror from the middle aisles, your £10 saving becomes a £20 over-spend!

:)
Yeah I would agree. We've got a local bakers, butchers etc which we use and the bakers does AMAZING produce which yeah is more expensive than say going to Morrisons to buy bread but the quality is 20x better!

I've never bought anything beyond a packet of packed fruit in Aldi but I would guess their quality can't be THAT bad as it seems to be quite a good example of 'destination shopping'
 

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By us in Bristol there are several ethnic communities and they all seem to be developing their own high streets with Chinese supermarkets, Indian restaurants, Polish grocers etc. It seems to be the bland mid price clothing stores that are going. Bristol built huge shopping malls at Cribs Causeway and Cabot Circus just before the downturn.
I've been through Cribs a few times now as my sister and her family live in Bristol and that place doesn't seem to quite know what it is. It seems to push a LOT more on food / entertainment compared to regular retails shops I think..
 

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