High streets are boring shoppers

To state the blindingly obvious – high streets are having a tough time. Many retailers blame landlords and they are largely right. The greedy men in suits simply charge too much rent.

Where this has really been felt is with smaller independent retailers. Not only have they had difficulty coming up with the high rentals demanded – compared with the deep-pocketed big boys – but they have also lost out through having unattractive covenants.

Interesting high street: I don’t know where it is but we need more.

The result of this scenario is a combination of growing numbers of empty units and increasingly boring high streets littered with the same well-known retail names. We are talking about identikit high streets where you can only find the likes of: Vodafone, WH Smith, Curry’s, Carphone Warehouse, Tesco, Phones 4u, Sainsbury’s and O2.

Do we need another bland, blurred Vodafone store?

In this age of the internet, consumers increasingly want an interesting experience when they venture out shopping. So which high streets should shoppers avoid like the plague because the store selection is mind-numbingly boring.

Our friends at retail location specialists CACI have used their extensive knowledge to create two very interesting tables to show shoppers where to go and where not to go:

AVOID – Top 10 Most cloned retail footprint centres
1. Barry
2. Didcot
3. Southampton – Shirley
4. Goole
5. Chorley
6. Pontefract
7. Havant
8. Felixstowe
9. Leek
10. Leighton Buzzard

RECOMMENDED – Top 10 Least cloned retail footprint centres
1. Brompton Road – London
2. Westbourne Grove – London
3. Knightsbridge – London
4. Shoreditch – London
5. Commercial Road – London
6. Covent Garden – London
7. Wimbledon Village
8. Westfield London
9. King’s Road – London
10. Bluewater

The obvious solution to shoppers’ woes is to live in London. The rentals might be the highest in the country but there are enough landlords sufficiently enlightened to let in smaller independent retailers who have helped create many interesting shopping areas that consumers actually want to visit.

The equally obvious answer to the problem is for councils, local authorities and landlords to simply get their acts together before they kill the high street and bore shoppers to death.


  1. Rob on June 21, 2010 at 10:22 am

    The picture is the high street near St Giles’ Cathedral In Edinburgh. Not that you care.

  2. Glynn Davis on June 23, 2010 at 6:09 am

    Thanks Rob. Well spotted. So I do like Scotland and the Scots after all. Maybe I always did, despite their preference for anti-English shirts.