Thoughtful Thursday….. A Rarity


A rare site indeed.  Not so long ago, just about every High Street would have had at least one ‘Tobacconist’, colourful displays of Pipes and Tobacco and all sorts of smoking requisites.

Rare indeed, though I am pretty sure that this Oxford establishment is still a fixture on this High Street.

The decline of Tobacconists does mirror the social decline in smoking….. but that is only one trade that has disappeared from our Retail offerings.  Retail has seen a major decline.  Even the brash shopping malls are suffering.

It is true that on-line has seen a surge though I think the reasons are far deeper than that. High Streets have become ‘copycats’… corporate look alike’s..  Gone are those smaller specialist independents.  Chains dominated, whilst rents escalated, smaller shops could not balance the books and now it would seem that even the large chains are having to reduce their high street/ mall footprint.

There are of course other factors to consider.  Social need and aspirations change.  Parking has been used as a cash cow for many operators and councils and people find alternatives..  Transport not always a convenient  alternative. Some locations blighted by anti social behaviour at worst, or just simply lack of courtesy from others.   Enticing window display are a rarity and in a ‘time short’ environment, in which we all live, shopping for many is far to time consuming.

I do appreciate that for some a ‘Day out Shopping’ is still a thrill…. but with such a marked decline in the High Street and empty units in the malls, those fun shoppers would appear to be in decline.

On Line is cast as the villain.  For me I have found it so much more convenient, competitive.  but above all informative. It is now the home of many smaller specialist retailers, now able to reach a bigger customer base. Some blame COVID but the decline of the High Street started  before  then. 

Small and specialised does seem to be the vogue.  Whilst other opportunistic businesses such as Farm Shops (often with their own Cafe showcasing their produce) have developed a specialist niche.

I miss the High Street and ‘window shopping’ for ideas but somehow I don’t think those days will ever return.

We wait to see… but as we wait…..

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

23rd March

(C) David Oakes 2023

6 thoughts on “Thoughtful Thursday….. A Rarity

Comments are closed.