Liverpool Echo

Shops. Use them or lose them.

woolworth
No longer a wonder … the long-gone Woolworths

THE shopping fest that is Christmas is looming but new figures show the high street is being battered like never before.

Around 14 shops a day are closing while analysts are already sounding concern that October – traditionally the start of the big festive spend – has been a slow month.

Major chains including House of Fraser, Maplin and Poundworld have collapsed this year and others have all been forced to seek legal agreements with landlords to shut stores.

It’s a lot to do with online shopping, of course, coupled with a slow-down in spending and a change in consumer habits – we flash the cash on holidays now rather than in shopping centres.

And yet, and yet . . .

There is still nothing like browsing the real-time rails, feeling and trying on goods, imagining them on your back or in your home.

Online is great if you know exactly what you’re looking for and you’re certain of your size and colour. It’s perfect too if too if you want to do a spot of price comparison or research before committing to that expensive washing machine or oven.

But if you fancy a browse or a try-on or some advice from a human being then for many people shops are still where it’s at.

There’s no doubt the high street will continue to change but if we, the consumer, want to keep our favourite brands we have to make the effort.

No good bemoaning their loss when they’re gone – like Woolies and Lewis’s and C&A.

Use them or lose them.

I WAS intrigued to read the story of the bloke asking a court to legally change his age from 69 to 49 saying he wants to avoid discrimination.

There’s been an outcry but I can’t see why.

I spent years knocking bits off my age. I was 42 for at least three years.

Then someone put an old school picture on Facebook and I was busted.

Nice while it lasted, though.

IT seems incredible that World War One  ended 100 years ago today.  I’ve never known a year where the personal testimonies of those who fought have seemed so vivid and their stories so resonant.

Perhaps it’s advances in technology that have brought to life so forcefully those who lost their lives decades ago. Or perhaps in order to move forward in these uncertain times we have realised we have to learn from the past.

Whatever it is, I predict a bumper turn-out at war memorials across the country.

First published in the Liverpool Echo, 10th November 2018.