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.

Fat Club – So it begins!

New year, New baby, bugger… same body!

Last night, with my lightest clothes on, compulsively emptied bladder (wee weighs you know!), and all jewellery removed, I set off to Weight Watchers to rejoin. I’ve done WW before with much success on the Points plan and to be honest was itching to get started.

Not sure why I'm grinning actually - I've just started dieting?!

On arrival everything was locked and everyone was queuing outside, on the busiest road into town, at 7pm (so it was busy) under a neon orange banner… no doubts about what we were all doing here then! The Leader was late and I was in a good sized queue but that was ok; gave me time to do pelvic floor exercises whilst listening to the ladies around me (Anyone who has ever been to a “fat club” before now will know what I mean when I say that at these classes, it’s no holds barred – there seem to be no inhibitions and people are very happy airing all manner of personal news and gossip quite publically, so just stood listening can be amusing!).

My turn… I reregistered, stripped off as much as I could whilst still remaining decent, breathed out (air weighs you know) and jumped on- 14 stone. This may sound a lot to some people but six weeks after a baby, I’m thrilled (I was 14st 7 when I fell pregnant!) and apparently I don’t look my weight (damn good job really!). I told the Leader I wouldn’t be staying, even though it was my first time back for a year nearly, and I was fine as I was just going to follow the plan as before. Apparently not – the “old” plan no longer exists and there is a whole new way of working out your foods etc. Buggeration! Guess I was staying then.

The class was hysterical! The Leader is a lunatic who constantly goes off at a tangent but is very amusing and I think I’ve now grasped the new way of eating/planning meals though next week will be the test of that! So a week of reading, pointing, checking and drinking water until I feel like I’m drowning internally to give myself a kick start.

I’ll report back next week on my first (hopefully) loss and let you know how the class goes!

PS Doesn’t anyone know why my “fat club” is full off skinny people, I could eat some of the lovelies who were weighing in yesterday and still stay within my points allowance!? Hmm!

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