14 C
London
Wednesday, October 21, 2020

The Death of the High Street

Matthew Steeples laments the death of the high street, but sees some hope in a shift to a new way of retailing

Remember when Mary Portas was banging on about saving the high street? Appointed in May 2011 by David Cameron and Nick Clegg to “breathe life back” into shopping hubs, this “retail consultant’s” well-meant attempt ended up sadly achieving little in reality.

 

Now, partly due to the impact of coronavirus and in many cases actually due to longer standing systemic problems with largescale companies, Britain’s towns and cities need to fast adapt if their central business districts are to survive.

 

Firstly, the high street’s customer base has altered and businesses must come to understand this. With those who’d worked in offices previously having used sandwich shops and retailers at lunchtime gone, many operations such as Pret are seeing footfall collapse and opting to cut staff hours and close stores.

 

Secondly, the likes of Marks & Spencer – which announced 7,000 job cuts yesterday – will find itself forced into doing more business online. People have adapted to having their food and clothing delivered and a shift to more of that kind of business seems the only way forward for the big household names.

 

Thirdly, as both retail and office space empties as a result of these changes, town planners must look at new ways of drawing in life and use for this accommodation. Whilst some such spaces are suitable for conversion to housing, another idea could be to make more locations centres of specialisation. Hay-on-Wye, for example, has prospered as a book town whilst Margate has gone from a shabby resort to a vastly successful centre for the arts. Another example is Leeds – which took advantage of the .com boom in the 1990s and became a major location for financial services businesses and call centres.

 

In spite of a future that looks bleak right now – with Pizza Express axing 1,000 of its workers also as they close numerous locations – if our currently completely haphazard government help it adapt, there could be a future for the high street. It must, however, be one that will have to involve more reasonable landlords and a firm goodbye to greedy robber barons asset strippers like Sir Philip Green also.

 

Facebook: @TheSteepleTimes

Instagram: @TheSteepleTimes

Twitter: @SteepleTimes and @M_Steeples

 

3 COMMENTS

  1. You should have a look at Brighton and Hove, the utterly useless Green-led council seem to be actively emptying the high streets.
    We all want a clean place to live but this council are shoving in lane wide cycle lanes everywhere. They are unused and causing incredible congestion and pollution.
    This is of course part of the plan, to claim that the pollution is so bad that they will have to bring in a congestion charge.
    I have friends that have lost everything as their shops and businesses close thanks to Brexit, Coronavirus and now the Greens stopping people driving into town.
    As someone that grew up there and saw the town in it’s hey-day, the difference is incredible and very sad.
    I’ll be off myself soon.

  2. Very right about greedy landlords , let’s hope that this will bring more balance and fairness in commercial real estate

    In the meantime Bezos and co see their wealth sky rocketing to disturbing heights..

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Wally of the Week – Phillip Schofield

Tempestuous television presenter Phillip Schofield bizarrely claims to have been murdered in a past life because of a debt.

Filthy Natalie

Wife of ‘Naughty Tory’ turned replacement MP Natalie Elphicke turns to talking about filthy water (but avoids the topic of her jailbird hubby’s bottom groping).

Get Menendez Out of The Hole

As Erik Menendez is undeservedly thrown in ‘the hole’ in the most ludicrous fashion in California, Matthew Steeples suggests it is time both him and his equally abused brother Lyle were finally released.

Going Bonkers For A Bin

Auctioneers Christie’s sought to sell five waste bins for £230; they ultimately went for the astounding sum of just under £34,000.

Junk the Junk Mail

Instead of banning people from enjoying themselves, the government should should do something useful and ban a genuine disease spreader: Junk mail.

Picture of the Week – A Red Squirrel Riot

Images of a red squirrel fighting a pheasant for hazelnuts and bird seed are proof that both creatures can be quite feisty.

A Pyrotechnic Pad

Mansion in controversial compound in The Boltons, SW10 for sale for £50 million; the setting has seen court cases and pyrotechnic parties involving a self-declared “Relentless” multi-millionaire.

Muddled McCann

As Christian Brueckner’s lawyer justifiably suggests he cannot have been present when Madeleine McCann was allegedly kidnapped, Matthew Steeples argues that other developments will also likely lead nowhere.

A Metropolitan Mess

Though Darren Grimes is frankly nothing but an irritating Brexiteer brat, the Metropolitan Police investigation into his conduct as an interviewer is nothing but ludicrous.

Randy Andy’s Last Stamp

As the Queen stops selling postcards featuring Prince Andrew, an online card printer has started selling ones of the late Jeffrey Epstein’s friend ‘Randy Andy’ with a rather controversial caption.

Moron of the Moment – Benjamin Clark

Extinction Rebellion activist Benjamin Clark deserved more than a fine for painting the word “racist” on a statue of Churchill.

Anth’ Swings Back to Flakegate

Anthea Turner swings into an interview with ‘The Sun’ and shares that she had therapy over her tacky ‘Flakegate’ wedding photos.

Mucky Mossad Madam Maxwell

As prosecutors seek to withhold evidence from alleged Mossad operative Ghislaine Maxwell, the mucky madam has hired a lawyer whose previous clients have been mostly terrorists.

A Marvellous Party with Mrs Bucket

Dame Patricia Routledge’s rendition of ‘I’ve Been To A Marvellous Party’ for theatrical charities will most certainly lift your spirits.

Sorry Hopkins

After Katie Hopkins was forced to say “sorry” to Finsbury Park Mosque, she should now be sent to where she belongs – social media’s equivalent of Siberia.

Mocking The Dockers

Welsh ‘mock castle’ once occupied by notorious spendaholic Lady Docker for sale for £2.85m; the Dockers were turfed out in 1956 after it was discovered they’d lavished the equivalent of £1.3m today of company money on the place without permission.

Weather Now

London
moderate rain
14 ° C
14.4 °
13.9 °
100 %
2.6kmh
100 %
Wed
15 °
Thu
16 °
Fri
13 °
Sat
16 °
Sun
15 °