Shopping trips to the city

As lockdown restrictions start to be lifted and many more shops are now allowing you to try clothes on, shopping trips can resume. Although you will need to do them with your household bubble or with up to five other friends, shopping can be a great way to spend the day. You do need to be careful that you do not spend too much money when going on a shopping trip which is why it is always a good idea to set yourself a budget first before you go.

You can also break the day up a bit by going out for lunch or even for drinks and cocktails or mocktails!

Often the best places to go on a shopping trip are the cities as these have the most choice of shops. If you are into your designer clothing and accessories then you may want to head to one of the designer outlets such as the ones at Cheshire Oaks, Cannock or Bicester Village. These retail parks often have a mix of designer, high street and boutique stores so there really is something for everyone.

If you do not want to buy clothes then you could instead shop for accessories as accessories really can completely change the look of an outfit.

Shops have reopened but still shopping is not the same

Many of the high street and independent shops have now reopened to the public again and although you can now go in and browse, not many have reopened the changing rooms. Unlike before where none of the changing rooms were open, lost of shops are making their own judgement on whether to open them up or not. If they are opening them up then they are giving them a very quick wipe over the handles etc before allowing the next person it, so queues are likely.

Shoppers are expressing their disappointment at how the shopping experience that they used to get simply does not seem to be the same anymore. Lots of shoppers say they feel like they are being watched and that there is a lot of pressure to buy something that they have tried on or touched. It can be hard to concentrate on shopping when you are also trying to ensure that you are socially distancing from others and be sure that you are adhering to all the rules.

Unfortunately many of the high street stores and independent retails have not survived the pandemic and have closed their doors for the final time. This is a sad sight to see and many other retails are struggling to make their money back.

Sales are on in lots of places, but not being able to try items on it still putting a lot of shoppers off. It is very hard for some people to go and pick something up and know if it will fit them, especially when sizes vary so much from shop to shop. Someone can quite easily be a lady’s size 10 in one shop and a 12 or 14 in another. This makes it virtually impossible to be sure if something is going to fit you and look ok without purchasing it and taking it home.

Working it a shop is not an easy task at the moment either. They are trying to get back to some sort of normal and let shoppers have an enjoyable experience but there are so many rules and regulations in place that it seems impossible to do so. Many are reporting that some members of the public are being quite rude when they are having to enforce rules regarding trying on clothes etc. and that the whole job role has completely changed from what it sued to be a few years ago.

Is high street shopping going to become a thing of the past?

Unfortunately, this last twelve months has been extremely hard for many businesses within the retail sector and this has seen a lot of them having to shut their doors for good. Shops that have struggled to trade online or rely on passing trade have experienced periods of no sales at all and although they have been given some support, for many, it was simply not enough. It is likely that as the shops start to open up again as we come out of lockdown, we will see more and more gaps on the high street where high street stores and independent retails are no more. Over the last few days we have heard that retails Topshop, Dorothy Perkins and Oasis will not be reopening after lockdown and has been bought out by Boohoo, an online retailer. Could it be that over the next few years more and more retails switch to online shopping? There are advantages and disadvantages of this to customers and retailers themselves. For the retailers, their overheads can be a lot less as they do not have to pay to rent premises for their shop, but then they have to invest a lot more in their marketing to attract people to their website. For consumers, not being able to handle the item and try clothing on is what often puts many off buying items online, but as many of us have had to get used to this new way of shopping recently, it may be that some never return to shopping on the high street.

Shopping online – is it the new way forward?

So many shops are still having to keep their doors closed due to the Covid-19 restrictions and therefore if they do not trade online, they simply miss out of any sales during this time. Lots of people do not like shopping online and although they may of put it off for a while, there may of come a time when they have to. Shopping online has many benefits; it allows you to compare prices easily and order from the comfort of your home. There are also some down sides to shopping online such as having to often pay a delivery fee (even for cheaper items), having to wait to have your item delivered and maybe finding out that an item you thought was on its way is actually out of stock. As we all know, sizes can vary from shop to shop and even product to product so it can be hard to ensure you select the right size without being able to see the product. You should be able to return most items bought online but you may have to pay to return it as not all shops offer free returns. This is definitely something you should check before purchasing.

Have you finished all your Christmas shopping?

Christmas shopping has been quite strange this year with many of the shops having to close at certain times throughout the last few months. It has also meant that some areas of the country have seen more shops close than others and this has made Christmas shopping a bit of a nightmare. The run up to Christmas is also a bit manic with people saying out to by last minute gifts or to fill their freezers with party food, but this year has been even worse. Due to social distancing, many people have had to cue to get in and out of shops and then queue again to pay for items. This can add hours of time on to your shopping trip and you may find rather than of doing it all in one day, you have had to go back to the shops time and time again.

If you haven’t finished your shopping yet then you may want to get moving as some shops already seem to be clearing away the Christmas gifts and decorations. If you are ordering presents only, bear in mind that they may not arrive before Christmas if sent using the normal postal service as they seem to be experiencing massive delays.