Monday, 16 January 2012

Sunday, 15 January 2012

The changing face of shopping

Phew! Another successful shopping trip!
I love to shop.  I like to walk into town (which is only a stones throw away) and go into my favourite haunts, browsing through the rails or inspecting things on shelves.  I love it!  Although, it's also become quite a depressing activity. How many more recognised high street brands are closing down because of falling sales?  I guess there are several things to blame for this:

The rise of the supermarkets

The supermarkets have taken over.  Large chains have gotten larger.  What used to be considered a large superstore is now dwarfed by even larger stores...  I believe that there is a Sainsbury's a few miles away from my home that is so huge, you need a buggy to drive around it! (slight exaggeration)

It's not only the size of the stores that have changed.  The sheer range of items has increased.  They now sell everything from TV's, bikes, camping equipment etc..  They even own their own mobile phone companies, sell insurance and have their own banks!  The supermarkets are massively convenient for most people.  Why go to another store, when you can buy everything you need in one big store?

The big chains have also taken over our smaller high streets.  In many areas, you won't be able to find any small independent 'corner' shops.  Now, in their place, you'll see a Tesco's Express or something similar.

Independents or smaller companies just can't compete with the prices that the large companies offer customers.

Advantages:  Convenience, Price, Decent parking

Disadvantages:  Many big stores are out of town, Quality of service can vary, Lacks individuality - personality and style

The internet

Companies that sell via the internet don't have the same costs as those on the high street, and they can pass those savings onto the customers.  It's a price war - and if you have a busy life and don't have the time to go into a shop, why try to?  Just order your shopping to be delivered.  It convenient and it's often cheaper.  You can't blame people for looking for internet bargains if the discounts are so significant.

Advantages: Large discounts, Easy to do price comparisons

Disadvantages:  You can't pick up and feel items before purchasing, Delivery periods are not always great, Security


Conclusion

Sadly, it seems that our high streets are still going to dwindle.  More shops will close and our high streets won't offer the variety and will look shoddy.  Nobody likes to see 'For Rent' signs on shops.

I wish I had an answer.  Shops need to offer something that the internet and supermarkets don't.  I hope that there is a revolution ahead to get our high streets back on track!