Soapbox: Why the High Street is dying

Our anonymous industry member rants about the state of the High Street
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Every month we invite a member of the industry to anonymously air their grievances about whatever winds them up.

Like any consumer I’m careful when I shop, especially on the High Street, and I don’t like to feel like I’m being ripped off. If it’s too expensive, I won’t buy it. I even check prices on my smartphone first when I’m out. So it’s no shock to see HMV and Jessops disappear from our town centres when they just don’t appear to understand the principal?

Jessops, Xmas 2012. I want a video camera that’s £150 online. Jessops and their helpful sales chap want £180 for the same one. Currys (next door) £160. Argos £150. Where’s my incentive to keep the sales guru in Jessops in work and the store open? Argos offered online pricing in-store, so guess where I bought it?

Game, Xmas 2011. Xbox Disney Kinect - Game online £20, Game in-store £38. ‘We can’t match online pricing as it’s a different business’, says the salesman. So where’s my incentive to keep the shop open? Offer it to me at £23-£25 and I’ll walk out the door with it.

Yes, High Street stores are expensive to run, but why not at least try to keep in-line or just a small amount above online pricing to encourage people back to the High Street? DSG have recently announced they’ll do it, so why don’t all shops follow suit... and fast, before the High Street dies completely.

Oh, one last thing. Town centre managers – stop charging for parking. You’re literally driving customers away.

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