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.
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.