The end of the High Street Shops

Jun 20, 2005
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High levels of shop lifting are having an adverse effect on the sustainability of our High Streets,. Already overburdened with high energy and labour costs thieving is reducing profit margins. One chain is now displaying empty coffee jars another is using facial recognition to track potential thieves. Some dairy products are security tagged. More security officers employed. The end result we the customer pay for it🤬.
No wonder “Mail order” is so popular. My new Heki struts arrived within 24 hours , half the price of Bailey who had a two week lead time.
This year alone I have probably bought 60% of my caravan bits on line rather than at the dealer. I wonder where the future lies with shops in the long term?
 
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Nov 6, 2005
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High levels of shop lifting are having an adverse effect on the sustainability of our High Streets,. Already overburdened with high energy and labour costs thieving is reducing profit margins. One chain is now displaying empty coffee jars another is using facial recognition to track potential thieves. Some dairy products are security tagged. More security officers employed. The end result we the customer pay for it🤬.
No wonder “Mail order” is so popular. My new Heki struts arrived within 24 hours , half the price of Bailey who had a two week lead time.
This year alone I have probably bought 60% of my caravan bits on line rather than at the dealer. I wonder where the future lies with shops in the long term?
There's a bit of a Catch-22 situation - I buy almost everything that isn't groceries online, always with the slightly slower free delivery - the exceptions are things I need urgently that I might drive to B&Q, Screwfix or my local VW dealer but increasingly I find they don't keep the items I need in stock so I have to wait for delivery anyway to do "click & collect".
 
Mar 14, 2005
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In our business we have seen customers openly admit to ordering on line, particularly since Covid, I don't blame them, particularly as our suppliers often have websites that will supply them direct. The downside is that if the goods don't arrive on time or are damaged, they then come to us to get what they need, and have the hassle of dealing with the on line supplier, some of which do not make it easy. A customer recently ordered on line but was sent the wrong size, they then asked us whether we could change the goods to the correct size for them, as we had not supplied the goods we were unable to help them, so they ended up ordering the right size from us, and it turned out the on line supplier did not have the rquested size any way and just sent the ones they had,Customer then waited 3 weeks for a refund. Having said all that, we use online ordering as well,it is convenient as it is available 24/7 and saves trawling round shops with parking fees etc, and many shops even suggest you look on line for sizes they don't have in the store. Also from a business point of view cost are kept lower by not having bricks and mortar stores, stock can be kept in a central location, at lower cost and can be shipped anywhere, often using AI, I suspect that the shops that survive will be a hybrid of on line and face to face, although for face to fac eto continue retailers need to make the experience , more enjoyable , and for me they could start by reducing the self service tills, and employing friendly knowledgeable staff.
 
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Nov 11, 2009
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I’m like Roger as for quite a long while, well before covid , I found store inventories were reducing and after going to perhaps 3-4 stores I could not buy what was required. So I would have no option really other than to use online services. In the main the online have been successful with very few where I needed to return, but even that is a doddle these days with so many courier companies, Royal Mail and lockers everywhere.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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I admit we are regular users of Amazon and are Prime members. Pricing is usually competitive, fingers do the walking rather than trampsing round loads of shops wasting time and fuel. Not good but sadly next day delivery is just too easy and convenient.
 

Sam Vimes

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Sep 7, 2020
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Went to the Tesco's in Inverness yesterday for the first time in a long while, since we mostly use the Click and Collect delivery to the island. I noticed an increase in the security barriers going into the store and at the checkout ailse.

Being rural on line shopping is a a real bonus but you have to be aware of delivery charges. Some companies think that Skye isn't part of the mainland. We are surrounded by water but connected to the rest of the UK by a bridge.

Some offer free delivery while others will try to charge exorbitant amounts. Often this is not apparent until you've gone through the whole checkout process - in those cases I'll email them first before handing over my details and then cancelling.

On-line prices are often cheaper too. I've just ordered a new Strimmer/Brusher Cutter. £350 on line but £450 in our local hardware store or even Inverness. Plus free delivery. One company wanted £38 delivery charge.

In some instances I've arranged with the on-line store to drop the delivery charge and arrange collection my self through Parcel Force which was cheaper.

Not often we can get next day delivery but we're used to that and make allowances. Even 3-5 days can be 7 or more and one particular company is very bad but you don't often get a choice if its free.

As for the decline in High Street stores this has been going on for years since the advent of out of town shopping, coupled with high, high street rental costs. Even some shopping mails are becoming empty. The Eastgate Centre in Inverness has many closed down units.
 
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Jan 3, 2012
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Another one for Amazon and Prime members do like next door delivery i order some touch up paint here in twenty fours great not into going around shops at all ;)
 
Jun 26, 2022
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Since COVID we have been 50/50 online 24 7 with the store open 3 days a week to give our customers the best of both worlds it all helps keep costs down. A friendly face helps people like me who would not buy a high price ticket item without that contact. The high street is suffering because the property market has not been allowed to level out with continued sky rocketing rents and business rates creeping up again its no wonder the big anchor stores are deserting our city's. While scouting for a new location recently I was shocked to discover how many properties are held by pension groups who will not or cannot reduce their price . Our current building a 300yr old mill is being torn down to make way for a retirement village. Cinemas swimming pool and shops and all without leaving the building .:(
 
Last edited:
Jun 16, 2020
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In our business we have seen customers openly admit to ordering on line, particularly since Covid, I don't blame them, particularly as our suppliers often have websites that will supply them direct. The downside is that if the goods don't arrive on time or are damaged, they then come to us to get what they need, and have the hassle of dealing with the on line supplier, some of which do not make it easy. A customer recently ordered on line but was sent the wrong size, they then asked us whether we could change the goods to the correct size for them, as we had not supplied the goods we were unable to help them, so they ended up ordering the right size from us, and it turned out the on line supplier did not have the rquested size any way and just sent the ones they had,Customer then waited 3 weeks for a refund. Having said all that, we use online ordering as well,it is convenient as it is available 24/7 and saves trawling round shops with parking fees etc, and many shops even suggest you look on line for sizes they don't have in the store. Also from a business point of view cost are kept lower by not having bricks and mortar stores, stock can be kept in a central location, at lower cost and can be shipped anywhere, often using AI, I suspect that the shops that survive will be a hybrid of on line and face to face, although for face to fac eto continue retailers need to make the experience , more enjoyable , and for me they could start by reducing the self service tills, and employing friendly knowledgeable staff.
We do online shopping ever increasingly. We use Amazon but hate their descriptions and review systems.

Grocery shopping is Tesco delivery.

But we are left feeling guilty. We recently decided to buy a garden Bistro set. We went around local garden centres, 6 of them, and found one that suited. But were not happy with the colour and they had no choice.

We went online and found the same one in a better colour. £150 cheaper. The transaction and delivery were trouble free.

We also purchased a second wall or post mounted parasol, exactly the same as one we bought 4 years ago for £130. but now £99. The picture was not brilliant and I ended up getting Taupe instead of Gray. They changed it with full reimbursement. And no argument.

Online purchase and service is improving daily, but a lot of suppliers desperately need to improve their sales pages, descriptions, pictures and videos.


John
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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I don't think you can point at just one thing and say that's caused the decline of high streets, its been a combination of multiple pressures mounting up over time.

Prior to the pandemic, some households were already using the likes of Amazon and several of the previous warehouse shops like Argos PC world etc were moving towards online and home delivery removing the need for even out of town presence. And load of new Online only businesses have started.

But without doubt the C19 pandemic caused a step change towards on line and home delivery out of necessity, and for a period of time that was the only way you could shop.

Being forced online, will have opened consumers eyes to the process, and how for many items it was actually an easy experience. These consumers are likely to stick with the online methods reducing footfall on the high street.

But for some things I find Online to be poor experience, especially clothing, where you cannot see or feel the material, or check the size actually fits you.

In some cases the act of going shopping or at least getting out to go shopping is positively beneficial.

I recently had to buy a new suit etc for a wedding, and looking on line was a pain in the..... as you couldn't make direct comparisons, I had far more success going to Merry Hill in Dudley, where I could see how the material looked and moved. But having found the right cloth on an off the peg retailer, they hadn't got my size in stock, so we had to order online at the shop and get it delivered (4 days later).

I have to agree I don't see the high street in towns and cities surviving as we know it. It will change to be niche suppliers. restaurants and charity shops.

Villages high streets I think may last longer. Some of us will remember the days before out of town shopping centers and even before supermarkets were starting in the highstreets, so change has always happened and the boom in online is another change.

But I do miss the personal service of grocer who would assemble you order from the shelves behind the counter...... Perhaps I better go and live in the Black Country Living Museum...

Change is inevitable, some of us may remember the days before supermarkets
 
Jun 26, 2022
33
28
535
I don't think you can point at just one thing and say that's caused the decline of high streets, its been a combination of multiple pressures mounting up over time.

Prior to the pandemic, some households were already using the likes of Amazon and several of the previous warehouse shops like Argos PC world etc were moving towards online and home delivery removing the need for even out of town presence. And load of new Online only businesses have started.

But without doubt the C19 pandemic caused a step change towards on line and home delivery out of necessity, and for a period of time that was the only way you could shop.

Being forced online, will have opened consumers eyes to the process, and how for many items it was actually an easy experience. These consumers are likely to stick with the online methods reducing footfall on the high street.

But for some things I find Online to be poor experience, especially clothing, where you cannot see or feel the material, or check the size actually fits you.

In some cases the act of going shopping or at least getting out to go shopping is positively beneficial.

I recently had to buy a new suit etc for a wedding, and looking on line was a pain in the..... as you couldn't make direct comparisons, I had far more success going to Merry Hill in Dudley, where I could see how the material looked and moved. But having found the right cloth on an off the peg retailer, they hadn't got my size in stock, so we had to order online at the shop and get it delivered (4 days later).

I have to agree I don't see the high street in towns and cities surviving as we know it. It will change to be niche suppliers. restaurants and charity shops.

Villages high streets I think may last longer. Some of us will remember the days before out of town shopping centers and even before supermarkets were starting in the highstreets, so change has always happened and the boom in online is another change.

But I do miss the personal service of grocer who would assemble you order from the shelves behind the counter...... Perhaps I better go and live in the Black Country Living Museum...

Change is inevitable, some of us may remember the days before supermarkets
We have seen a 50% increase in online sales since COVID and similar reduction in store foot traffic. also trading online for nearly 15 years now . Our current situation unfortunately does colour my opinions regarding the decline of the high street. The drive for everyone to have everything is the real problem and what may be needed is a seismic shift in our perception of what happiness is, that being the thing we all strive toward.:hearteyes:
 
Jun 20, 2005
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Interesting replies , thanks everyone.
I‘m one of the worst. Years ago I’d go out at 8.00am Saturday am visiting all the plumbing stores possible. By midday I had either failed or succeeded in my purchase, especially very rare items.
On line , Amazon, eBay etc, takes me 10 minutes or less researching, find the rare part order and pay for it and it’s here tomorrow. No ŵasted time or diesel. What a sad day but for me as a pensioner and getting older I just love it. No time for scruples etc . The major supermarkets got it right , home delivery. Ever fought your way down the aisle with all those personal shoppers.
They miss the bargains, pick the foods with the shortest shelf life, no picking from the tray beneath nor at the back of the shelf😉.

Most Caravan dealers are a few miles away from most of us but I still enjoy a morning looking around the store and new and used caravans. I hope it lasts.
 

Sam Vimes

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Sep 7, 2020
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Just seen that Amazon have raised the free delivery limited to £25 from £20.

Someone mentioned buying clothes on line. Even this isn't much of a problem for most consumers as the returns policies are usually very good It does cause problems for the retailers I'm told. People buying stuff, wearing once, then returning.
 
Jun 16, 2020
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From when? I received two packages today foc on delivery. Both around £10, and ordered yesterday.

John
 

Sam Vimes

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Sep 7, 2020
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I went to order something this afternoon for 22.99 and it said I needed to spend another 2.01 for free delivery. I checked the T&CS and that said £25 was the limit.

I found a market trader there that had a slightly better product for 98p more and free delivery.
 
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Sam Vimes

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Sep 7, 2020
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I thought the charges were for off the mainland?
No.

Apart from which we are really mainland because of the bridge. I've had plenty of free deliverys when spending just over £20 until today.

Note... I'm not a Prime customer. If I need something cheap and quick I get my daughter to order it on her Prime account for delivery to here, then we pay her.
 
Jun 16, 2020
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No.

Apart from which we are really mainland because of the bridge. I've had plenty of free deliverys when spending just over £20 until today.

Note... I'm not a Prime customer. If I need something cheap and quick I get my daughter to order it on her Prime account for delivery to here, then we pay her.
Ah, that's what it is then. Free is for Prime members. I have no idea how it works for the hoi polloi. :)

John
 

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