In the last 20 years, the high street has seen a constant decline in sales. But why was this & what caused the death of the high street; was it due to the rise of online retail, was it the experience of the shopping centre or was it simply because time was up.

When the high street was peaking, around 30 – 40 + years ago there was little competition as people mainly shopped locally & shopping centres were less common & further away. This droves 1000’s of locals to town centres & high street & made them the undisputed place to shop within a town because of their locality, amenities & vast range of shops.

The first issue faced by the high street was the rise of out-of-town shopping centres, these were not restricted by space or location & unlike the high street could have vast amounts of free customer parking & create a more modern shopping experience. Shopping centres such as Bluewater & Brent Cross have taken considerable business away from high streets because of having a greater selection of shops, a modern appeal & free parking all while being not too far away from many local towns.

Another issue the high street faced in the last 15 years is the rise of online retail, sites such as Amazon, AO & ASOS instantly drove people away from the high streets & reduced overall footfall of high streets. It also reduced window shopping & impulse buying of items which generated substantial sales for shops on the high street. Online was appealing to modern shoppers because they had access to a catalogue of products that they could browse without leaving the comfort of their own home.

Both of these factors had led to retail stores that had shops on high streets to lose money & a customer base. This coupled with the fact that the monthly cost of high street locations began to increase, left many shops being unable or unwilling to pay for their space, which left many locations unused or boarded up for rent with no new companies willing to pay for & use the location.

These factors are unfortunately what has led to the near death of high street & unless local councils or the government can act fast to save them. The end for the once cherished high street could be near.