Nick Horne's Monday Morning Top News

Winter is coming to the High Street

IT’S the shopping season in the UK. This week Black Friday 23rd of November looms like a vast iceberg in fog bound shipping lanes.

A hazard that the retailers and shopping centres will have to safely negotiate through a fog of advertising campaigns all designed to winkle out the Pound in your pocket and into their cash tills.

Watch television or just tune in to the internet on your chosen platform and you will have been exposed to this year’s Christmas advertisements.

Of course parents have already been fully informed by their youngsters as to which extra special gift was really, really needed to appear under the Christmas Tree on the 25th of December.

Shopping centres and the Towns that surround them have pulled out all the stops, there is not a town that does not have a Christmas market cluttering the pavements.

Streets that over the past decades have progressively been pedestrianised with the cars cleared off to car parks are now jammed with temporary stalls offering ‘bric-a-brac’ goods largely made in a little known province of China and so called ethnic street and snack foods.

Do these street traders represent an improvement lending light and excitement to the high streets or are they a noisome rash allowing local governments’ to claim they are doing something, anything, to support the High Street in a time of rapid change with Internet shopping taking a growing bite of the shopping apple?

What is certain is that the New Year will confirm a new paradigm. Nothing directly related to the Brexit process, now that really is noisome rash, rather the combination of technology, cheap money for speculative investors, high rents and high taxes have together combined to create a set of unintended consequences.

For the high street change is coming and this shopping season could be the last that is recognisable to shoppers of the last 50 years.

In future and the future could arrive as soon as Christmas 2019 the high street is a place you might visit only in major towns and cities.

A shopping landscape that would have been familiar to the mediaeval shopper.

Expect to see the return of Market Towns and for the rest of the country, travelling traders and salesmen making virtual visits to your home and community.

Most communities will subsist on services delivered via the internet, if at all.

Most welcome are the shorter days in these northern climes the creeping cold and wind that is increasingly coming from the Artic.

Winter is clearly coming and in the cold and dark evenings the lights of the decorations illuminating the shopping streets do not appear tawdry at all.

Indeed they look more magical the younger you are or think you are.

This year as the shopping season gathers strength think young or take a youngster to see the winter lights. Recall that magical time when a Christmas stocking was stuffed with an amazing item, no not chocolate rather an Orange probably grown far , far away in Spain. Nick Horne, London, England

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