Documentaries, Uncategorized

Are we witnessing the end of high street shopping?

Our department stores are collapsing as the current high street retail business model is failing today’s shoppers, according to experts.  The outlook for the British high street seems bleak, with numerous retailers, including M&S, House of Fraser and Waitrose, announcing store closures, and others going into administration.

In the past 10 years, we’ve seen several shops close their doors. Notably, the 100-year-old Woolworths in 2008, Blockbusters in 2013, BHS in 2016 and Toys ‘R’ Us falling into administration in 2018. The trend has continued with 21,355 retail workers being laid off in the first six months of 2018 alone as Poundworld went into administration. In 2017 the retail worker layoffs’ number was 12,225, according to the Centre of Retail Research.

Yet town centre spending is set to increase by 4.9% (£5.3bn) in the next five years, according to retail research company GlobalData, with food and grocery spending set to rise the most. But how is that possible with so many gloomy stories about shop closures hitting the headlines?

We see more of these

  • Convenience stores
  • Coffee shops
  • Beauty salons
  • Nail salons
  • Restaurants and bars
  • Barbers
  • Vape shops
  • Healing/treatments
  • Food takeaways
  • Tattoo parlours
  • Cafes

We see fewer of these

  • Confectionery/news
  • Fashion and clothing
  • Music/games/DVDs
  • Shoe shops
  • Card and gift shops
  • Betting shops
  • Antique shops
  • Bookshops
  • Flooring shops
  • Household goods
  • Furniture and textiles

What do you think about our high street?

Do you prefer shopping online or on the high street?

When did you last shop on the high street and what did you buy when you were there?

What shops do you think are missing from the town centre?

What shops do you miss?

I would love to hear your views on what you think the state of our high street is.  Your answers in the comments may feature in a documentary book investigating our high street.  The images will be used in a book and on these websites and

By commenting, you agree to take part in the project and give me, Tom Robson permission to use your comments in the book and for promotional reasons.  The book is not for profit and I am making no money from it, therefore you agree that there is no right to financial compensation or accounting.

Thanks for your time!