Furiously catching up with stuff after a week in nose-to-grindstone mode.
This story, about another tackle shop biting the dust, can’t pass without comment, because I’m intrigued as to how town centre high streets will look, thirty years from now. I used to think the businesses that survive would be those that combine a great website with a smaller-scale High Street presence. People grow to love the comprehensiveness and user-friendliness of your website, and it assures your bricks-and-mortar outlet of their loyalty when the social instinct decrees that they finally tear themselves away from their monitor and shop like their parents did….
This was based on my feeling that, for all the online reading I do, I still like to hold a real, live book or magazine now and again. Only now I’m getting a hankering for one of them there Kindle things, so maybe that feeling wasn’t as strong as I thought.
In which case, now what? Town centres just become entertainment centres in future, made up solely of cinemas, bars, restaurants, clubs, museums and libraries? Or do we let horticulture swallow them up and build parks and ornamental gardens there instead, to suck carbon dioxide from the hearts of our cities?
I don’t know and I commiserate with storekeepers of any ilk who are caught on the lip of this gathering new wave in retail development. But I won’t take the easy route. The Internet has brought the world to my door: it would be churlish to damn it for taking the shops off my streets.