So the High Street May be struggling even more than initially though , I’m not surprised at all.
I rarely go into town now, it’s just not an enjoyable experience in Dundee at all. Given the amount of empty shops I suspect it isn’t for many others. This Guardian article is interesting in some ways while missing the point in others.
I totally accept that people have less money to spend, I know I do but it’s not just that. Going into town in Dundee is not enjoyable. Parking is not cheap, but neither is public transport, so you take the car. The Wellgate Centre in Dundee, once an important shopping must in the 80s, is now an empty shell with mostly cheap charity shops, stalls, pound shops and a couple of brand shops like Iceland and New Look. It looks crap and is cumbersome to get around. I avoid it now as much as I can and to be honest it has had its day and probably just needs demolished.
Shops are so desperate for a sale that you barely get 30 seconds before someone asks if you want any help, it’s intrusive and certainly puts me off a shop. I just want peace to look around but more often than not I just leave. There is also the fact that too many chain stores make the experience uninteresting and clothes in particular are so standard that you can’t get your size if you a wee bit short like me.
The simple reality is shopping online is cheaper and more convenient overall, esp for someone like me who doesn’t really enjoy shopping anyway. I don’t think the high street can be saved to be honest but they could start by making parking easier or cheaper. Or make public transport affordable. They could start by having smaller chain stores and more independents with prices that are more affordable. They can make an effort, in Dundee anyway, to brighten up the area. The V and A when it opens will be good but what will people think when they walk five minutes into the City and see nothing much of interest.
There are no easy answers and it is sad that our Cities are becoming Ghost towns but that’s the fault of the Councils, the stores, the prices and the blandness.