High Street Changes – where are our children going to shop?


With the announcement today of yet another major high street retailer going into administration it has made me wonder where will it end? Where are my children going to shop? Will everything have to be bought online or in a giant supermarket?

Ok so I am probably as guilty as the next person when it comes to buying certain items online for convenience and to save some much needed cash, but, at the same time, we do use the high street for many things and the thought of not being able to pop into town at the weekend to shop fills me with sadness. Although we had a young baby and grumpy little boy in tow this year I am really pleased that we managed to do all of our present shopping on the high street rather than online. We probably didn’t spend as much as previous years but did manage to avoid online shopping. The only thing I did order online was the food shop as I couldn’t face the supermarket at Christmas with children!

I remember as a child we often used to have Saturday as a family day out visiting a different town each week. We didn’t have lots of money to buy huge amounts but it was great browsing the shops, especially places like Woolworths for the toys, and as we got older my poor Dad would be stuck outside Etam for quite some time whilst my mum, my sister and me browsed and tried on clothes. Every Christmas Eve Mum and Dad would take us to the shops to soak up the Christmas vibe and, they say to take mine and my sister’s minds off Christmas but I think it was more a distraction for them! I have many fond memories of our family Saturday shopping trips.

I am very lucky that I have a husband who enjoys shopping, in fact he probably enjoys it more than I do and I can often be found yawning away in the corner of a music/game/clothes shop waiting for him to finish shopping! As a couple, before we had children, we visited many a town to shop for clothes, music, homeware! Now we have children the shops we visit have changed. We love to look at children’s clothes (especially now we have a girl) and toy shops and bookshops are obvious winners with Little Mr A.

I do like the ease and price of Internet shopping, particularly for larger items, however you can’t beat going to your local shops and browsing the shelves, being able to look at and touch the item you want and also being able to compare it to any other similar items available. I just feel you miss out on so much when shopping online and, if you don’t know exactly what you want it can take a long time to find what you are looking for!

There have been so many big firms that have gone into administration over the last few years and have either closed some stores or disappeared from the high street completely; Pumpkin Patch, JJB Sports, Comet, Jane Norman, Focus DIY, Game, Peacocks, La Senza, Woolworths and now Jessops and HMV just to mention a few. I dread to think how many independent shops have closed over the last few years. I am sure there will be more closures to come in 2013 as the high street shops struggle to compete with supermarkets and online retailers.

I do hope there is some form of a high street left as my children grow up even if it doesn’t look anything like it does today! I just hope it is not only full of pound and discount stores, yes they have their place but it would be a shame if that is all there is.

Maybe we should all try harder to use the high street as much as possible this year for the sake of our future and that of our children and grandchildren.

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6 thoughts on “High Street Changes – where are our children going to shop?

  1. i think u raise a really interesting point. my eldest has just started wanting to go into town on his own (at 12). hmv is the highlight of his expedition. excellent finger on the button blogpost

  2. I think this is a great post. It is very alarming to think what will be gone from the high street next.

    In the town where I live there are more charity shops and pound/discount shops than anything else! As you say, they are always good for a bargain but I do miss places like good old Woolies!

    There are many items that are better to touch and try before you buy – so it will be a great shame for everything to be bought online in future. Also, if online buying is the future, surely children may not learn the meaning of money as much as actually paying a person in a shop with coins in their hands???? Its all very well looking at figures on a page but surely rading your piggy bank for coins and passing them to someone in a shop, rather than giving them to you because you paid by bank card, is the best way to teach them the morals of how much things cost in real terms.

    I even remember bugging my Dad most days to empty his trouser pockets onto the kitchen table and then sitting and counting it into piles – what if in future we won’t even have the need for cash and notes?!?!

    I think its very important to teach children the meaning of money. Even though C, at 4 years old, is not always willing to roam around the shops (he takes after his Dad!), I will try and encourage him when he’s a bit older to browse in the shops in town and buy his treats/toys from his pocket money – in cash!

  3. I agree, it is sad. This week we did the grocery shop online and we ended up with some massive failings- one pear instead of one bag of pears, miniature shampoo (GGRRRR) and NO fabric conditioner! In some cases you can’t beat actually looking at things on a shelf. But of course, there are some online shops that are worth having πŸ˜‰

    • Oh no that’s bad! We seem to do ok with our grocery shopping online at the moment but have had some bad experiences in the past! My mum once ordered bread and they substituted it for flour! They didn’t even send her yeast! πŸ™‚

  4. I love shopping too. I think what is happening is due to the economic situation as much as to on line shopping. What is also happening now . We used to sell our products in shopping centres all over England and also we visited agricultural shows such as the Royal Showground. Now we are older selling on the internet has been a life line for us. I love it and it keeps us on our toes. I know also of lots of people who have actually set up small businesses selling on line and who are now beginning to open up in the empty shops now the rental is cheaper etc. So I think it may come full circle with lots of little independent shops opening up again in place of the big chain stores.

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