The world is a pretty downbeat place at the moment and it seems that Christmas 2011 is not immune to this sentiment. However, I think there’s more to the decline in high street shopping than just the current economic situation. When I was a kid, there was a genuine excitement to go Christmas shopping. It was an experience, sometimes frustrating, but mostly rewarding as you picked up deals and got swept away in the festivities. 2011 is the first year that I have felt a noticeable difference and a big shift away from the high street experience.
I think this has a lot to do with the fact that everyone’s grumpy as hell, but it’s also to do with the fact that all those deals that used to be on the high street are now online. But more than this: there’s even more deals to be had online and you don’t need to spend hours on a high street searching for them in a throng of other people that are feeling just as downbeat as you. The high street has become a sort of an ex that we try to avoid at all costs, no matter what they does to tempt us back.
Yet, the same is not true online. Cyber Monday saw Brits spending £19million in an hour online. So, we clearly still want to shop! The high street is still trying to win us back with special offers, deals, sales, but it seems like we’re just not interested, we’d rather be online.
What’s the saying? “It’s not you, it’s me”. I think in this case it’s actually “It’s not me, it’s you” for the poor old high street.