The death of the High Street - Has it been exagerated?

Mr D

Free Member
Feb 12, 2017
28,630
3,561
Stirling
Easy way to fix the high street - ban all online sales.

Niche high streets can work really well if you have enough footfall. Portobello Road, Tottenham Court Road, Carnaby Street etc. But I don't know about outside of London.

As for eateries, they're all bloody chain eateries now. I can do without a high street dominated by Pret A Manger, Giraffe, Yo Sushi, TGI Fridays etc. Like shops, I want independents. The food's better.

Independents are not that great. You go into a KFC in Cardiff, Carlisle or Colchester you know what will be on offer and you know what it will taste like.
I love chicken - just some independent food places don't end up being very good food.

The good ones - perhaps they thrive. Or perhaps they don't.
One of the quicker restaurants I can recall going out of business took a great spot, did plenty of marketing, pretty good decor....
And shut in 3 months.

Can think of several food places that didn't last a year. Perhaps they did not provide what the locals wanted in sufficient quantity. Perhaps they could not earn enough with a hundred hour week. Perhaps the pricing was too low or too high. If I pay £50 for a night out on food and drink fair enough, pay that at lunchtime in a cafe? No thanks.
 
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Chris Ashdown

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Dec 7, 2003
12,509
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Norfolk
Once they reach a critical point, there is little need for people to visit and independents cant afford the rents and rates carrying over from the last few years,

I can only speak for Great Yarmouth, but the market has diminished from a large area to just a few stalls, All the major companies have left M&S, River Island, Debenhams, Edinburgh Mills Plus a few Ladies brands so nothing to draw in the footfall
 
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UKSBD

Moderator
  • Business Listing
    Tried that, split the town in half. Have to drive around to reach the other side of town to park up for shopping. Its a lot cheaper to catch the bus to a nearby city than drive a third of the distance into town and park up.

    That's the general idea, keep car drivers out.

    Have enough people living above the shops and enough going on below them and you build small local communities who don't own cars.
     
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    Mr D

    Free Member
    Feb 12, 2017
    28,630
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    Stirling
    That's the general idea, keep car drivers out.

    Have enough people living above the shops and enough going on below them and you build small local communities who don't own cars.

    You want to try walking across pedestrian area because can't park close to where you need to go even with a blue badge.
    Nearest cheap car park about 40 minutes walk away, nearest car park about 15 minutes away but takes an extra 10 minutes to cross over the edge of town centre and come back towards town centre.

    Small communities who don't own cars? Great.
    However they still need to travel to take advantage of other services that aren't in their small community.
    GPs, pharmacy, hospital, off license, supermarket, butcher, grocer etc.
    And have to walk further to get buses or taxis.

    Not owning cars does not remove the need to use taxis, friends or public transport.
     
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    MarkOnline

    Free Member
    Apr 25, 2020
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    You want to set up in business in a small wooden cabin go right ahead.
    How much do your products need to be seen in order to be purchased?

    Some retailers - the stock has to be put in front of customers in such a way as to get sales. Too small an area and can't fit disabled in, can't fit many customers in and people wander off elsewhere.
    Small wooden cabin may suit newspaper sellers with a sweet and cakes selection. Doesn't suit a jewelry shop very well.

    The cheap tat - the big boys have far from sewn up. Way too much for them to do that.

    Yes agreed don't compete on a level playing field with the big boys, you don't want a level playing field. It would disadvantage small businesses to try and have a level playing field with the big boys, the small businesses would lose advantages.

    Niche high streets? Wow, you must really want rent and rates to come down. Niches can be way too small.

    Didnt expect you to understand, havent you got stuff to pack in the dining room?
     
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    Mr D

    Free Member
    Feb 12, 2017
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    Didnt expect you to understand, havent you got stuff to pack in the dining room?

    I understood fine hence the reply.

    Yes I have stuff to pack. Wife will get onto it this afternoon for 20 minutes or so - busy time of year.
     
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    MBE2017

    Free Member
    Feb 16, 2017
    2,627
    1,047
    The High Street will survive, but I don’t think anyone can say for sure how just yet. With internet shopping, the sheer ease, comfort, consumer protections, and enormous stock advantages, that is definitely here to stay, Amazon have shown what is possible.

    Free parking will be seen as hugely important moving forward, it takes away a huge annoyance for most, and introduces a much more relaxed experience. For physical stores in towns etc, the stock levels are the hard part, so many cannot afford to buy, stock or display enough anymore.
     
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    Financial-Modeller

    Business Member
    Jul 3, 2012
    1,218
    458
    London
    Death of the High Street has been discussed for years, but the retail landscape is obviously changing. Three changes will probably be:

    Where footfall permits, I expect that we will see more market-hall type venues where a retailer can take space on flexible/'Pop-Up' terms, with shared/outsourced storage and back-office facilities, scaling as they want.

    Also, ironically, given that many b&m retailers blame Amazon for their woes, We can expect to see more automated shops, per Amazon's initial forays as Amazon Go and 4*

    https://retailanalysis.igd.com/news...-launches-kiosks-in-uk-train-stations/i/21762

    FWiW I expect established retailers will move product ranges in high streets away from mass-volume items that can be easily compared and purchased online, towards smaller runs of niche/emotive/experience/personalised products, bought impulsively and/or once touched, smelled etc
     
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    Death of the High Street has been discussed for years, but the retail landscape is obviously changing. Three changes will probably be:

    Where footfall permits, I expect that we will see more market-hall type venues where a retailer can take space on flexible/'Pop-Up' terms, with shared/outsourced storage and back-office facilities, scaling as they want.

    Also, ironically, given that many b&m retailers blame Amazon for their woes, We can expect to see more automated shops, per Amazon's initial forays as Amazon Go and 4*

    https://retailanalysis.igd.com/news...-launches-kiosks-in-uk-train-stations/i/21762

    FWiW I expect established retailers will move product ranges in high streets away from mass-volume items that can be easily compared and purchased online, towards smaller runs of niche/emotive/experience/personalised products, bought impulsively and/or once touched, smelled etc

    Great synopsis.
     
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    The Byre

    Legacy Full Member
    Aug 13, 2013
    11,828
    5,117
    The High Street is not going anywhere. It will however change.

    Rents, rates and general expectations will be forced down to levels where The High Street will be no more valuable or desirable than any other location.

    If you look at the successful retailers, they are nearly always NOT on the High Street. They are out of the towns and they are where people can park as they do their shopping as part of the drive home in the evening.

    After the war, Tesco, Aldi and other grocers did locate on High Streets - but by the late 60s and into the 70s they were looking at locations on the exit roads from towns with available parking.

    The creatures that are doomed are the many shopping malls that have been built in the past 30 years that are now ghosts of their former selves as the Debenhams and other bankrupt retailers shut for good. These are today's white elephants, over-valued, over-priced and empty. These will 'enjoy' a mixed future as domestic housing, play-groups and kindergartens, charity shops - or just stand empty until they are torn down as the failed experiments they ultimately always were! Or converted into flats.
     
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    The High Street is not going anywhere. It will however change.

    Rents, rates and general expectations will be forced down to levels where The High Street will be no more valuable or desirable than any other location.

    If you look at the successful retailers, they are nearly always NOT on the High Street. They are out of the towns and they are where people can park as they do their shopping as part of the drive home in the evening.

    After the war, Tesco, Aldi and other grocers did locate on High Streets - but by the late 60s and into the 70s they were looking at locations on the exit roads from towns with available parking.

    The creatures that are doomed are the many shopping malls that have been built in the past 30 years that are now ghosts of their former selves as the Debenhams and other bankrupt retailers shut for good. These are today's white elephants, over-valued, over-priced and empty. These will 'enjoy' a mixed future as domestic housing, play-groups and kindergartens, charity shops - or just stand empty until they are torn down as the failed experiments they ultimately always were! Or converted into flats.

    True - I can see a lot of malls being white elephants as flagships disappear.

    Interesting to see that Primark is now deemed to be a flagship store.
     
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    thetiger2015

    Free Member
    Aug 29, 2015
    572
    206
    That's the general idea, keep car drivers out.

    Have enough people living above the shops and enough going on below them and you build small local communities who don't own cars.

    That's one of the things that's killing the high street already. Banning vehicles.

    In the scenario you've mentioned, the shops would have to rely on those living directly around them. That would mean a very high ratio of living spaces and a low volume of retail shops - shops need multiple customers, customers only need a small selection of shops.

    Saving the high street requires MORE transport, MORE people, MORE variety of retail spaces but in close proximity to parking areas and bus stops.

    They should create hybrid shopping areas. Big retailers, with markets in the centre for start-ups and fresh food retailers. Create a circular experience, that allows you to hop around shops and cross the market area. Everything should be centrally focused, to create a pleasant shopping experience and a day out for everyone.

    Most town centres I see are disjointed. They're useless. You can't find anything because the parking is miles away, costs at least £5 and you have to hoof around for over 2 or 3 square miles trying to find one thing! The bus or train are not always practical, especially if you're carrying several shopping bags or furniture items. I don't think they let you carry mirrors or paint on buses.
     
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    thetiger2015

    Free Member
    Aug 29, 2015
    572
    206
    The creatures that are doomed are the many shopping malls that have been built in the past 30 years that are now ghosts of their former selves as the Debenhams and other bankrupt retailers shut for good. These are today's white elephants, over-valued, over-priced and empty. These will 'enjoy' a mixed future as domestic housing, play-groups and kindergartens, charity shops - or just stand empty until they are torn down as the failed experiments they ultimately always were! Or converted into flats.

    Most need pulling down. The brutalist exterior does not lend itself to a pleasant experience. Tiny windows, huge grey concrete that's covered in moss and water stains. Yuck!

    Pull them down, have 3 floor buildings with mixed residential and retail. Create a wrap around balcony across the top (but pretty, not concrete and pillars!) and have some foliage and atmospheric exterior lighting/posts.

    They've destroyed our high street. Replacing victorian buildings with concrete behemoths that tower over everything and make the entire street cold, dark and wet. They block out any light, any hope. No birds, no trees, just concrete.
     
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    UKSBD

    Moderator
  • Business Listing
    That's one of the things that's killing the high street already. Banning vehicles.

    I wouldn't say killing but changing

    What is the point of the high street nowadays?

    High streets weren't designed for the amount of cars we have today, so if you want to use a car, go to the places that are designed for them and use the high streets for a more suitable purpose.
     
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    UKSBD

    Moderator
  • Business Listing
    Take a leaf out of Asian shopping malls. Most of them have attached multi-story carparks - which have free parking.

    That's the point I was making

    There is a difference between a shopping mall and a high street

    Use the shopping malls if you want to use cars and find a better use for the high streets (edit: unless there is space to build a car park close to the high street but without the cars effecting the high street)
     
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    japancool

    Free Member
    Jul 11, 2013
    5,326
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    That's the point I was making

    There is a difference between a shopping mall and a high street

    Use the shopping malls if you want to use cars and find a better use for the high streets (edit: unless there is space to build a car park close to the high street but without the cars effecting the high street)

    How do you propose high streets cater for those with limited mobility, those who might be carrying a large number of shopping bags, children or extra weight?
     
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    MarkOnline

    Free Member
    Apr 25, 2020
    469
    160
    You want to set up in business in a small wooden cabin go right ahead.
    How much do your products need to be seen in order to be purchased?

    Youve never seen the wooden chalets at a christmas market?

    Some retailers - the stock has to be put in front of customers in such a way as to get sales. Too small an area and can't fit disabled in, can't fit many customers in and people wander off elsewhere.
    Small wooden cabin may suit newspaper sellers with a sweet and cakes selection. Doesn't suit a jewelry shop very well.

    Youve never seen the wooden chalets at christmas markets?

    The cheap tat - the big boys have far from sewn up. Way too much for them to do that.

    Yeah? there are some multi billion pound setups which may dissagree with you

    Yes agreed don't compete on a level playing field with the big boys, you don't want a level playing field. It would disadvantage small businesses to try and have a level playing field with the big boys, the small businesses would lose advantages.

    Against someone such as yourself they would.

    Niche high streets? Wow, you must really want rent and rates to come down. Niches can be way too small

    Yes I want to see high streets where fledgling independents have a chance of trading and earning, I think we should encourage new enterprise. The internet doesnt have to be the only avenue for sales for young enterprises. It could be an area of growth for the right business, but the way rents are stacked at the moment they havent got a chance. If a store is not trading and there is enough room Im sure a council can make £2-3k worth of chalet pay.

    .
     
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