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How the British High Street has changed in five charts

Posted by Future Forum (Admin) 3 months ago

Our shopping and banking habits have changed. With more money being spent online, high street shops are struggling to compete. But where there were once bank branches and pubs, other businesses are taking over.

Discover how the High Street is changing.

1. We’re spending more money online


2. Poorer regions are hit harder by store closures


3. People increasingly bank online

4. And if you want to visit a physical bank branch, it’s not as easy as it once was…


5. But at least, if you need a quick shave or a manicure, you’re in luck


How has your local high street changed? And how do you feel about it? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

This post was edited on Nov 13, 2018 by Future Forum

This post has 1 subscriber

Comments (11)

Shelley (BoE Moderator) says... 3 months ago

This is a really interesting post. Thank you for sharing!

I will say I have noticed an increase in the use of online shopping the last few years. Especially with the UK adapting the 'black friday' and 'cyber monday' craze in November every year. Even Christmas shopping - every year i set aside a weekend to go shopping, by the time i get to the weekend I've done it all - online!

The decline in bank branches is something that cannot go unnoticed. Not only reported in the news regularly, but the common high street has been changing so much.

Florence - I would be really interested in your views on this analysis from an Agency point of view you get to see more of the country than me?

Ramblingsofabard says... 3 months ago
Definitely a lot more shopping has moved online. Over the years, I have seen (and benefited) from a lot of clearance sales with shops closing down. Often being replaced by an office or residential building. Branches of banks are not as widespread any more too but cash points are still frequent and some allow more than just basic withdrawal services. A lot more eating and coffee places are also visible. I think there is a nostalgia element of seeing some shopping experiences go away, but overall from a consumer point of view, it’s positive in my opinion. The shopping or branch activity that can be done online, is readily available online and delivery services have improved.
Shelley (BoE Moderator) says... 3 months ago

Thank you for sharing!

Dru Lucas says... 3 months ago
It’s cleverly done, you force people to use the internet by reducing the cashiers in shops and banks, my local bank used to have 6 windows there are now 2, the que is longer so most of the time you think I only have a half hour for my break I will have to attempt to do this online, even the pub chain witherspoons have started to do this by having a designated drink pourer for app bought drinks which means you can jump the que at the bar
Shelley (BoE Moderator) says... 3 months ago

Interesting point about the pub - I found more and more resturants in londona re doing this now too. 'Pay as you go' apps - I even know a chain that helps you 'split the bill' easily too! I suppose with resturants and bars moving towards digital, it's only a matter of time to shops to do this too - scan as you shop?

NickiT says... 2 months ago
Interestingly Shelley scan as you shop is already out there. Last week I went to the Apple store, picked up the cable I needed from the shelf, scanned and paid for it via the Apple app and popped it in my bag. Felt very odd, like I was shoplifting! But incredibly convenient and I’m sure will becomes the norm in the very near future.
Naina (BoE Moderator) says... 3 months ago

Thinking about my local high street, I remember it having well known retail stores when I was growing up, the likes on £-Stretcher and Homebase to name a few. In recent times (over the past 10 years), the stores have closed down and have been developed into small units which can be rented out to new businesses. This has seen a rise in independent salons, mobile phone shops, locksmiths and many other small independent businesses.

I think the larger retailers have closed their shops in order to save money, as they can move towards the online market. However, the new independent businesses feel the need to have a physical shop to sell their products. As a result, the costs associated with having a physical shop is passed onto the customers.

Personally, I am an online shopper, from clothes to entertainment tickets and everything in between. But there are some things you prefer to go in to a shop for. For example, I prefer the idea of going into a nail salon and being pampered, rather than having a mobile nail technician to come to my house. I am happy to pay the premium for the experience I get at the nail salon.

What are everyone elses views?

willsworthy says... 2 months ago

Our local town has so few shops which sell goods that I want to buy, that it is hardly worth going there anymore. The charity shops selling new goods and second hand clothing at such high prices fill vacant areas, we have lots of estate agents which depress everyone with the house prices taking up space in the high street, and because the years of austerity have really taken their toll, the streets look run down and in need of maintenance.

The village that I live in has become a commuter pad, and the number of rental properties has risen substantially. The empty second homes have also hit us hard, so that we have now lost the Post Office and the shop. We are therefore forced to bank online, shop online and email people rather than going out and meeting people or being able to easily send cards. I know technology is very useful, but it is causing an awful lot of isolation within communities, and I for one, shall mourn the loss of cash....

Ranil Perera says... 1 month ago

Perhaps the increased capital and liquidity requirements for banks are making it unprofitable to maintain a significant high street presence? Perhaps action should have been taken, for example when RBS/NatWest reduced their bad debt provisions by £1.1 billion in 2002? Also whilst the Lender of Last Resort did not provide liquidity to Northern Rock perhaps it did for other in the same position? So consider reducing capital & liquidity requirements and have effective macro and micro prudential analysis to identify potential problems and take timely action?

Shelley (BoE Moderator) says... 1 month ago

Thank you for your comments. Please note the above is about high streets in general, not high street banks. Fro example, nail bars, cafes, etc. However thank you for your thoughts on high street banks.

Ranil Perera says... 1 month ago

Perhaps High Street branches should consider additional services financial (including retail investment and insurance services) and more widely - say providing cafe facilitie?

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