There has been an evident decline in the number of shoppers purchasing goods from high street outlets throughout the country, over the last few years.
The decline has brought harrowing effects to both business owners and local residents in all areas of the UK; speaking with employees in Kingstanding’s Hawthorn Road, it is apparent that the economic downturn has had detrimental effects on their community, as well as individual businesses.
Discussing this issue with the shop manager of Acorns Children’s Hospice, she commented:
“People are moving away from the high street, it’s one stop shopping they’re looking for; people head to places like the Bullring and Merry Hill and, consequently, less and less individuals are shopping in the high street.”
Unfortunately, such revelations appear to be true across the country, as recent figures state that there could be more than 26,500 shop closures across the UK’s high streets by 2015. With such impacting claims, it’s not surprising that locals are concerned; one local resident from Kingstanding said:
“Although there are a range of shops in Kingstanding, we could benefit from traditional local trade shops, such as bakers, butchers and grocers, as Tesco’s is too expensive.”
A major factor that caused many traditional shops to close was the arrival of supermarket giants such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda. These large chain superstores are now seen as the new ‘convenience’ store, as they provide everything a modern day family needs in one location.
The once thriving Hawthorn Road in Kingstanding may have also been hit by the increase in online sales. One shop in particular that has felt the strain of the recession more than others and, unfortunately, will be closing its doors later this year, is Shoe Zone. Trisha Scholes, a shop assistant at Shoe Zone added:
“The shops and community are going down and down in Kingstanding, when a shop shuts it opens as a charity shop, porn brokers or bookies, in fact we are closing in September.”
The shop manager of Acorns Children’s Hospice Shop confirmed:
“It’s affecting everybody, we’re all looking for that differential that will keep people coming back to us, but I feel that’s in every high street not just Kingstanding, it’s definitely tough times for the high street.”
Despite the increase in shops closing, locals have discussed that the people of Kingstanding are very dedicated to “working hard” and they will make all efforts to maintain the running of their high street businesses. An assistant at, Pound Crazy added:
“There have been a few shop closures in the past few months, but we’re ok at the moment although we have our bad trading days, but so does everyone.”
Finally, speaking with Margaret Gould of Sue Ryder, she commented:
“The closing of some businesses has brought some of the local, long standing stores back together. I think it’s coming back to life up here in Kingstanding.”
So, it’s not all bad news for residents in Kingstanding, as many still have faith in the area and on building the community back together.