High Street Futurism …

High Streets are great places. Trade, creativity and community are the basis of civilisation.

Unfortunately society has found an easier and cheaper (and less fun method) of getting what it wants – online shopping has massively affected every part of our high streets. Laziness has become the enemy of the shopkeeper (no I don’t think it’s Amazon’s fault!)

High Streets have always been places of change and evolution. Photo is of Mill Street morning by Sarah Hatherill.

High Streets will have to become very different places to survive. Online shopping is a cultural sink hole that isn’t going to go away. It will mean that our high streets are no longer centres of creativity and community, trade and commerce. They will be centres of coffee shops, charity shops & chain stores.

Online shopping has gained a foothold as human beings will always find the route of least resistance. Maybe this has also contributed to the obesity crisis? Think of a trip to the High Street as exercise? © Kings Road i-phone by Sarah Hatherill.

Town councils need to work hard to allow independent business/retail to still flourish. We all need to think differently about the term “shop” and what shopping is actually about.

Our high streets are buzzing with vibrancy and life but small businesses need support to compete. © Flower shopper Sarah Hatherill 2017.

I have noticed recently that when I go to London the shops are becoming more like showrooms than shops. Brands have realised that the long term gain is much larger than the short. Space is becoming a premium. It is expensive to fill a shop with stock. It is much better for the brand to engage and entertain the consumer and ensure that they come back to them and buy online in the long run.

High streets are a part of our communities; their stories are fascinating and full of learning. Grantham Ghost sign by Sarah Hatherill.

It should be possible for small town high streets to work in the same way. Websites are now cheap. You can readily buy a template to put your products within. As long as your photography is on point and your branding is well conceived you will be able to sell if you know how to use social media and are a committed shopkeeper. All the online seller would need would be access to some empty retail units to showcase its goods from time to time.

Why don’t more towns have access to bikes and alternative transport? Why do only large cities allocate budget to such schemes? © Kings Road Boris Bike by Sarah Hatherill.

Wouldn’t it be great if small businesses & independents could rent short term reasonably priced premises on the high street to show off the goods which they actively sell online?

Come on councils – start to think different. Open up those empty shop units and get our high streets flourishing again…

Posted in

Sarah Hatherill

Well Street is run by me - designer Sarah Hatherill. I have worked for many years as a freelance designer as well as being employed as a creative director and marketing manager but am now self-employed and trading as Well Street Studio. I work alongside marketing teams, social media experts, manufacturers & printers to provide content and creativity to local businesses.

Leave a Reply