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.