Fellow Britons, you can save the high street – go shopping
As the high street continues to die, are Britons just going to stand by and watch, if they can bear to look away from their phone or computer screens at all? Research from the Local Data Company outlines the struggles faced by retailers, with many going under or restructuring/downsizing at an alarming rate. Nor does the much-trumpeted New High Street Hipster Dawn of coffee shops, juice bars, artisan cobblers and the groovy-like seem as though it’s going to be enough to plug the gap.
Ministers have been rightly urged to take action, but what about ordinary people? Do any of us want ghost-town high streets or, on those rare visits to the local centre, want to discover that, while most shops have closed, hey, we could always get our eyebrows shaped yet again?
The death rattle of the high street sounds so depressing, but I’m one of those people making it happen. I seem to expect the high street miraculously to thrive while I shop mainly online. For the past few festive seasons, the true Christmas miracle would have been me getting off my lethargic derriere to do some real-life shopping, instead of parking myself in front of the computer screen.
Obviously, people who are skint or genuinely time-poor are exempt, but I’m just inexcusably bone idle. Don’t we all need to start looking at high streets as actual live organisms that need nourishing with human support? After all, they’re not just backdrops that could so easily become as tragic, lifeless and soulless as those creepy fake bookshelves that, yes, you can buy in wallpaper form… from Amazon!
The government needs to do more, but so too do the rest of us. Or we can’t complain if the British high street just slips away.