Has the internet killed the high-street?

We all known that Britain has been, and still is, in the grasp of some fairly serious money problems. Redundancy, unemployment levels, businesses closing down altogether or moving production abroad seem commonplace amongst the headlines nowadays.

I read a piece today on BBC news about HMV, whom also owns Waterstones, closing 60 of their stores due to lower than expected/hoped for sales and share levels. Next have reported a £22mdrop in sales and blame it on people staying way from stores due to the snow. While I won’t deny that the snow will have had a significgant effect on Xmas shopping on the high-street this winter – I have to wonder if as a nation, we just don’t use physical stores like we did. The internet is expanding daily and what you can’t do online isn’t worth thinking about. With petrol prices going up, rubbish weather and increasingly busy lives it is no wonder that people seem to be preferring to shop online.

Myself, as much as I hate the idea of physical stores going down the pan, have to say that I much prefer online shopping. No venturing out in the bad weather, no queues, no parking, and no petrol to pay – for us it’s a no-brainer. That, and I find it so much cheaper to buy online. It is easier to compare prices, shop around for deals and special offers, get cash-back and there are so many unique internet shops/sites to browse which make shopping pleasurable again. Despite having to pay delivery on most items – this is usually much cheaper than the petrol you pay, the necessary lunch/coffee break/snack when out, and I’m sure it reduces the amount of impulse buying. Thinking about it – I can’t afford to visit the highstreet anymore!

What do you think? Has it become so much easier to buy online, to return and reorder unsuitable items and compare prices, that the high-street is dying out? I hope not, but time will tell.

My question for today is : How have your shopping habits changed over recent years and do you think internet shopping has or will take over?

Link to BBC news and the story that prompted this post.

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4 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I think the high street itself has little going for it these days, the internet is part of the cause (not sure that blame is the right word?)

    If I want a DVD or CD I have a few options
    1- order it online,. It arrives on release day, Free delivery mostly, can choose the best price and I can get cashback on my orders too
    2- pop it in my trolley when I go to Tesco. Free parking and I’m going to shop there anyway. Clubcard points. If it’s out of stock I haven’t wasted a journey.
    3- Go to a high street, pay for parking, hope that it’s there and pay whatever non competetive price is being offered.

    HMV don’t help themselves with their online prices being different to in store either.

    Now I LOVE shopping, but I think it’s more of the stick from the high street than the carrot of the internet for me. I dislike paying to park in a shopping centre car park. Where’s the fun in spending £10 in parking when you don’t know if you will find what you want if you only want one thing? On the rare occasion I have a spree I will go to a large shopping centre like Milton Keynes or The Bullring in Birmingham and happily pay for a days parking, but it’s not worth it if its a one off. That’s when the internet wins.

    Large shopping centres have their place and can’t compare to the average high street. An average high street is full of poundshops, pawn shops like cash converters and places like Brighthouse. It’s not a place I could envisage going to do all my Christmas shopping.

    I’m not sure Nexts problem as they have a massive online shopping business and have out of town stores all over the place. They need to look at their prices IMO. Higher end high street prices for lower end quality. Why pay so much for high street mass produced clothes when I can go to New Look, Primark or Tesco for half the price.

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