Before I discuss this issue, I would like to come out and present a little recent study that seems to support my hypothesis that Facebook will be gone by next year, the latest. There is no investment value for investors in these ”easily replicate-able” social networking ventures, as they are a thousands a dime; any investor is fool-hearted, conned or just downright stupid (as a result of MBA-centric in business that is widely observable from the banking crisis to boardrooms and strategic directions of once mighty corporations that seem to be losing in the battle against the eastern onslaught).
Anyway, coming back to our High Street topic, my argument and hypothesis here has been for a while, and recently, as well, vindicated by the disappearance of traditionally dominant players in the street, such as Woolworth, and soon to be HMV, WHSmith, Comet (Dixon/Curry group) and many other electronic megastores. This area, electronics will be the most affected one, as well as other few household sectors, supermarkets (the latter, as a result of consumer-conscious away from the big and back to the little shops or markets, and the latter, here have been beneficiary of huge regeneration capital from their local governments).
What I can see in the future for High Street is, High Street of Leisure-based activities, from restaurants to galleries, theatres, clubs, entertainment centres (even cinemas will be losing a lot as the intenet as opened up a whole new ‘free private cinemas’), to very few highly-priced boutique shops of fashion, co-existing with proliferated low-cost shops such as the Primark (these might also find it hard as the result of hiked retail shops rental and leases fees), and other ‘exchange shops’ with cheap used products; sort of the rich and poor mingling ground.
There will be the great exodus to the out of town retail areas for many and even there they wont be able to survive for a longer period as most consumers will either not be bothered, not knowing of the change of address, or just go to the new ”High Street”, the Internet from the comfort of their homes.
Shopping Therapy, a coined conned phrase to increase and encourage the rise in the retail index for the country will slowly disappear as well, as the conscious-consumer, will no longer give a crap about therapeutic ‘added value’ of shopping but rather the comfort of home and the savings (this can be comprehend within what is known as the ”system thinking” doctrine, all cost-benefit calculations by consumer will encourage and reinforce his/her stay-at-home shopping behaviour to that of ‘walkabout” one; saving on petrol, family time, work, and other small costs of being ‘out there’, the little chocolates of self-delight, coffee and so forth.). Coffee shops, big names will vanish as well as new conscious-consumer will be moving into ‘social packs’ of independent-owned establishment with their own ‘beliefs and brand’, for example the political, will have their own little coffee shops, the artsy, the ‘nerds’, the culturists, and so forth.
This is my picture of the Great High Streets; of the Yesterday and of Tomorrow.