The death of the high street: How are people choosing to do their shopping now

High street shopping has been in a slow decline for a while, and since the pandemic it has hit somewhat of a standstill. With large retailers, such as Debenhams and House of Fraser closing down, it is clear that the era of shopping in department stores is coming to a slow end.

Established in 1865, House of Fraser’s Cardiff store is closing after 158 years of business.

“The Welsh Retail Consortium says compared to pre-pandemic 2019 levels, total Welsh footfall is 10% lower”.

BBC Wales News

Many people, post-pandemic, have become accustomed to shopping online- as it was the only option for so long. The evidence of that is still clear today, as the expected bustle of shopping malls has died down.

Cardiff’s St David shopping mall, at midday, during ‘prime shopping’ time.

Whilst some enjoy the accessibility of having lots of options online, some still miss the classic feel of shopping in malls. One student, Max Thomas said that he prefers in-person shopping for the simplicity of it.

“I prefer shopping on the high street because it means I can try on the clothes and see what they look like before deciding to to buy them or not, then I don’t have to worry about sending them back” he said.

“High street shops are dying out because of online shops, which are normally the same price or more expensive by the time you pay for delivery”.

The pandemic also boosted the resale, or second hand market a lot. With apps such as Vinted or Depop being accessible and easy to use, the second hand market has has a steep rise in popularity.

An article published by ‘inews’ post pandemic said that half of shoppers between the ages of 16-30 swapped, borrowed or bought second hand clothes in 2020. Evidently, this has carried on until today, as many people still choose to buy second hand.

The app, Vinted has reached over 8 million users in 2023, which has grown from 1.2 million two years beforehand.

Georgia Osborn, said she will go to a charity shop before going online or to a high street store if she needs clothes.

”It’s cheaper, better for the environment and better for my bank account. To be honest, because of cost of living no one has the money to be going to Debenhams and get a nice coat, for example” she said.

She also said “ I can definitely see that high street shopping is dying out, with shops like BHS and House of Fraser shutting down, it’s clear that there is a transition being made to more small business retailers. But I don’t think it’s because of the rise of second hand shopping, because there is still a massive demographic that doesn’t use charity shops”.

With the rise of second hand and online shopping, it is evident that it has directly affected the ‘traditional’ style of shopping in malls.

Categories: Cardiff

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