Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

Gone shopping


There’s an unpleasant smell on the high street

Well the task is nearly done and most of the Christmas shopping is now sorted: but oh dear, it’s grim out on the high street, I think I knew it would be and hence some of the reluctance to go shopping in the first place.

0ur local Woolworth’s closing is a bit like a town having it’s two front teeth knocked out, not that it comes as a surprise that the company has gone into liquidation, it had lost the plot (WH Smith has to be another retail chain with a terminal diagnosis  what with Amazon and music downloads.) But never the less, it was a big shop, slap bang in the middle of things and I can’t imagine who or what would want to take over such a large store ( that’s large by small northern market town standards, you understand.)

But it’s not only Woolies,  my favourite book shop closes is closing it’s doors, the ‘surf and ski’ shop where I planned to get a gift for Tom had disappeared, two more largish units were in the throws of a closing down sale and my favourite shoe shop was running a sale (they wouldn’t normally have done that ’till after Christmas and I ticked a couple of gifts on my list in there, but I didn’t burst into tears, unlike a previous Christmas) I suppose it’s because I worked in retail for a long time that I have a sixth sense for sick shops (try saying or typing that quickly!)  I can almost smell it as I walk through the door, it’s an unpleasant smell and makes me feel sad.

Smelly dead rat

I don’t think things are ever going to be the same again on the high street and who’s fault is that? A lot of it is of course the global credit crisis, but some traders could be doing more to help themselves, I found the first shop on my list didn’t open till 9:30(so much for me rushing into town for 9am) the UPS guy and I were pawing at the ground to get in and get on with our day (and this was after the local council owned parking meter had eaten my £2.50 and refused to give me a ticket, it wasn’t an auspicious start) the week before Christmas, you’ve got to make hay whilst the sun shines, it’s no time for a leisurely start, you can do that in January if you must.

Meanwhile compare and contrast with the 24/7 Internet shopping.

I ordered some cards on the Internet at about 5am on Monday morning from Moo, gift cards to be printed from my photos, they were printed packed and delivered by Thursday, that by any standards is good service, the week before Christmas it is exceptional.

But the woe’s of the high street are just the tip of the iceberg, there is a lot more going on below the water line.

Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

7 thoughts on “Gone shopping

  1. Yes its def going to be a tough 2009 for sure
    Went into the hell that is tesco this morning and noticed things lke a can of tuna £1.09. etc etc.
    Everything is very very expensive.
    I hate shopping. The only positive is that people now seem to be using bAGS for LIFE instead of thos ehorrible ones they used to give you.

    Take my town Ilkeston for example
    There are no shops left . Only the big white box that is tesco. We are forced in there. Like robots each week. In ,out ,in , out.
    Even our market is under threat.

  2. The state of our high streets is sad indeed and looks like getting far worse. xx

  3. This post resonates like a great clanging bell, echoing across the world in small towns in northern Michigan. We are in for desperate times indeed. But we have reinvented ourselves before, and we will do it again. I have a perhaps unreasonable faith that in our small towns, where everyone knows everything about everyone else anyway, we can help each other muddle through.

  4. I haven’t been to the high street at all this Christmas, mainly because my son has been off school all this time. So I’ve done all my shopping online. But I feel guilty about it. Even though money has been changing hands and I have spent as much as usual, I feel I ought to be supporting the shopworkers. Hopefully he will be back in school in january so I’ll be able to hit the sales.

  5. I do feel slightly guilty that about 85% of my Christmas shopping has been done online; out of the shop bought presents, I got two books from Waterstones, a first aid kit from Boots, a couple of decorative pieces from our Christmas market, a few small items from Hawkins Bazaar and a few bits and pieces from a local independent shop. Everything else has come from Amazon (spent over £250 there…), and was delivered to my office (barring one item which they cancelled because they couldn’t source it) without me having to brave the queues and crush (and risk my annual crowds induced panic attack).

    I think I should feel more guilty than I do, though, but I can’t – I’ve been able to get my friends and family the things that they like at cheaper prices than in the shops, and I’ve done it without the pain of going into town…

    • It’s just how it is Jo, I don’t think there is any need to feel guilty 🙂
      Shopping trends and ways of trading have always evolved, it’s just this is big and fast! Very much a before and after moment.

  6. Pingback: By Coincidence « Uphilldowndale

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