“Sweet shops can bring the High Street to mint condition”

July 13, 2011

Interesting piece in the Financial Times weekend edition (“Sweet shops can bring the High Street to mint condition”) on the decline of the UK high street. Oliver Ralph comments that whilst Oddbins, Habitat and Thorntons et al are cutting back or shutting up, other uses are coming in to replace them. According to Ralph, the replacements – tellingly – are able to offer services or goods that the supermarkets and internet cannot provide. These include bike shops which offer specialist, personal advice, that cannot be replaced by even the best internet site. Notably this has happened in my own local high street and my unscientific observations to date indicate that this has had a positive knock-on effect on the weekend business of local coffee shops: cyclists seem to meet at the shop, go off for a ride and meet back at the cafes when they return. A phenomenon for our anthropological students to pursue, I think. See also graphic at ft.com/highstreet.

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