Every year, we spend more of our money shopping online and less on the high street. Yet many of us still have our favourite shops that we return to again and again. What makes the best shops worth visiting?
The boom in online shopping is showing no signs of slowing down. We spent £615m on the internet in September of this year – an increase of 19% on the same period in 2012, according to the Office of National Statistics.
£1 in every £10 we spend now happens online. That’s projected to grow to £1 in every £7 spent by 2018, according to recent estimates from retail consultancy Verdict.
We all know the reasons why. Few high street shops, especially independents, can compete with giants like Amazon on price or range of products. And there’s plenty to be said from shopping for the comfort of your home, without the need to brave the unpredictable British weather or find somewhere to park.
But I wouldn’t want to do all my shopping online, because there are some high street shops I enjoy visiting in ways that a website can’t replicate. So why do some shops continue to attract us?
My favourite shops
The friendliness and knowledge of the staff is a big reason why I visit my favourite shops. You can choose from an almost limitless range of beer online, but I know that the owner of my local off-licence is discerning enough to only stock the best bottles. And if I’m looking for a particular type of beer, or am torn between two choices, he’ll be happy to give me personalised advice.
My local DIY shop has an eccentric charm that always makes it a pleasure to visit. It’s a series of small, narrow passageways with walls covered from floor to ceiling with an endless variety of screws, light bulbs and cables, seemingly at random. Yet all you need to do is tell the staff what you’re looking for and they’ll somehow know exactly where to find it among the enormous mass of items.
So tell us about your favourite shops. What do they offer that’s special and makes you want to continue visiting?