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  1. #1
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    Default Regeneration of the high streets?

    With the growth in online sales and marketplaces there is a reported decline in physical stores on the highstreet, I definitely have noticed this, there has been a change in many respects from physical media to digital media too in many of the fast moving consumer goods that used to be sold through the highstreet physical outlets too.

    There has also been a change in that retailing, physical or otherwise, is polarising, just as society is polarising between the mega rich and everyone else, so between all the vacant lots on the high street there are poundland style stores, usually retailing music magpie style recycled or repurposed second hand media and goods, unsold overstocks etc. or charity shops (however, I think in the UK at least, there were moves by westminister to eliminate the favourable tax or business rates that charities were being charged).

    Anyway, have you witnessed these trends at first hand? Or are things pretty much as they've always been? Do you think something needs to happen to regenerate the high street or would the decline or dominance of shopping in public spaces be something you welcome? What way do you envisage the space being used instead?

  2. #2
    Senior Member anticlimatic's Avatar
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    What is highstreet and poundland?

  3. #3
    Fe this! Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    I'm guessing it's what we commonly call Main Street in U.S.; the street running through the center of (smaller suburb/rural) town.

    I know that dvd rental storefronts have almost entirely dried up, because of Netflix (initially Netflix had a sort of monopoly - and video rental places were gone before Hulu or Amazon prime showed up).

    I don't see music stores anymore. There aren't even many used ones, because Amazon sells used items too. Although used book stores seem to be doing okay.

    It seems like downtown areas (with family owned businesses) in the affluent suburbs around here are still doing okay - I've kind of assumed there's a strong community/social influence at play (where's there's affluence, there's the luxury of being able to pay a little more to support local business and perhaps even a shared feeling of obligation to do so - like there's some ostrification to not to do so). Older suburb downtown storefronts that aren't in wealthy areas aren't doing great, but I'm not sure there's a significant difference from 20 years ago. It's just not something I've paid a lot of attention to.

    In the suburbs that are newer (60 years or less), there were really only chain stores to begin with - and so there wasn't especially "Main Street" (in that same traditional sense*) to disappear. Chain stores had kinda swallowed them up before they even started.

    *In the older suburbs around Chicago, there are generally downtown areas centered around train stations - and almost all the businesses were clustered there in one spot originally. Then as areas became more developed, pockets of businesses (called strip malls if there are enough in one spot and they're physically attached) formed at separate intersections around town (or even just one business - like a single gas station/convenience store several blocks away from other stores). So, new suburbs don't even have that original cluster of downtown storefronts - just strip malls spread throughout town. I actually don't know how this plays out in most rural areas - but my limited experience is that there's generally a street or two with really old storefronts (the original business long gone, replaced) and then newer strip malls spread through the town. So I'm not sure how to apply "high street" (or "main street") here.
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

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  4. #4
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    When I was in the UK on vacation over the summer, I think I remember poundland being the equivalent of the Dollar Tree in the US. Everything costs a pound.
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