High Street must not turn into just a Memory Lane

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I’m ecstatic that I’ve managed to complete my Christmas present ‘to-buy’ list in record time this year.

Whilst I admit there is a buzz to be had from last-minute shopping if you’re in the mood, it’s a relief that, come Christmas Eve, I know that I can just chill out at the pub with my buddies while the rest of you are running around getting stressed.

When its comes to spending my readies, I like to support my local shops as well as the big High Street names.

Internet shopping has never appealed to me. I much prefer to look at what I’m buying than stare at a computer screen for hours on end.

I grew up in a time when the corner shop was very much the hub of the community and it was lovely to pop out for a pint of milk and bump into someone from the other end of the street for a catch-up on the local gossip.

It’s a shame those days have practically died a death. But Southsea, where I live, is great for shopping with the quirkiness of Albert Road and the bigger outlets in Palmerston Road mixed with the lovely pavement cafes in Marmion Road.

Then, if you really want to feel adventurous, it’s not far to Cascades in the city centre and Gunwharf.

It’s a tough time for those in retail. Even billionaire Sir Philip Green is feeling the pinch – the boss of Topshop recently announced he may axe 250 of his Arcadia group’s High Street stores over the next three years,

These days customers are, on the whole, a lot less loyal than they used to be. People shop around for value and service.

You only have to look at what happened to Woolworths when it didn’t keep up with the times.

Businesses are also losing trade to the internet as people like to get things cheaper.

It’s sad when you go into town and see empty units, once-familiar names now disappeared to be replaced by more phone shops.

I remember trips into the town as a teenager were a great day out. I think shops need to be more creative and return to those days when shoppers would visit for a whole day.

Let’s hope our beloved High Street doesn’t soon become just a Memory Lane.