Written by:
Sian Wills

High street of the future – I’m ready for you!

Hands up, who enjoys shopping?

And by ‘enjoy’ I mean, categorically, hand-on-heart, you look forward to hitting the high street and trawling around shop, after shop, after shop. No, I didn’t think so.

Even shopaholics can’t enjoy it that much – it must be too much of a compulsion to be satisfying.

Unless you’ve not guessed already, I, (like many) hate shopping. The thought of going round and round looking at the same thing in four places is not how I want to spend my free time. I’d much rather be spending time reading a great book, stomping along a beach (or seaside walk) or indulging in the Disney channel!

Such is my frustration, my friends have come up with a term to describe my style: ninja shopping. As an experienced ninja shopper, I can be in and out before everyone else has even remembered what they came in for! Eye of the tiger, bish bash bosh!

Thinking about it, my perfect shopping experience happened to me last year when I was out buying my mum’s Christmas present. It happened as I was standing in the queue of a supermarket café.

I simply whipped out my phone, did some tapping and swiping and I was done by the time they’d finished pouring my Americano.

No fuss, no hassle, no overcrowded shops. Instead, coffee in hand, a smile on my face and a package wending its way to my home address. Who’d want it any other way?

But there’s a problem. Even though I’d much rather give the high street a wide berth, I don’t want to see its demise. Far from it. For many, the high street means work, learning, healthcare, enjoyment, eating, drinking (and shopping). High streets are clearly an important part of our communities that need to be looked after – and, more importantly, be brought up to date.

Take Amazon Go, for example. That grab-and-go approach to shopping really appeals to me. If you’re pressed for time on your lunch break or desperate to get in and out of a shop before your child has a tantrum, it’s an absolute lifesaver.

Other retailers are hoping a more sensory experience will get people through the door. I’ve heard of some places mixing music, visuals and scent with the opportunity to touch, feel and try different products or services in store.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the sound of it but I’ll still be employing my ninja shopping tactics until the high street of the future is well and truly here – and grabbing a coffee on the way.


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