The face of the high street is changing and it seems that our love for eating out and drinking coffee is much more insatiable than our desire to buy clothes – on the high street, anyway. If you take a look around, you’ll find that there are fewer fashion stores and banks around, but an increasing amount of other stores, including coffee shops, health clubs and takeaways. 

The future of the high street

Consumers have changed the way they shop over the years and when it comes to fashion, we are choosing to buy online more than ever before. However, this is not the only change. In general, consumers are just not buying clothes in the same way as they were before. Many fashion retailers have noticed a drop in sales over the last year and overall, there has been a decline of 4.4% in clothes sold throughout the UK. The number of stores on the high street is declining. In 2016, there were more stores closing than opening and the figure of -896 is more than double from the previous year. The retail industry is declining on the high street, while more people are choosing to spend their money from the comfort of their home.

Are we fed up with fashion?

The amount of money we spend has not decreased, so why is the fashion industry suffering? Evidence points to the fact that consumers are spending their money differently. Instead of material things such as clothes, an increasing number of people are keeping their money for experiences – such as going on holiday or eating at restaurants. There is much more focus on enjoying life, rather than buying products, which is a huge change in consumer spending. And it isn’t just affecting the UK: other countries, including the US, seem to be losing interest in fashion too.

Spending habits

As money spent on clothing falls, other areas of spending are increasing. It seems that buying cars is one of our priorities these days, with a steady growth recorded over the last five years. The amount of money being spent by consumers on recreation and culture is also increasing, with a total of almost £70 per week. We are also buying more mobile phones and increasing our spending on eating out, going on breaks and online shopping. We will always need to buy clothes, but it looks like we are not as keen on doing this as we once were – especially on the high street.

Closing Down by James Bowe licensed under Creative commons 4