The way the high street looks has been altering for many years, and in particular with COVID, the rise of online shopping and altering fashions, it now needs to find a new purpose in life. Throughout the pandemic, we’ve been limited to the immediate spaces around us, and that in many cases has given rise to the advent of far more localised shopping, an increase in new community spaces and a refreshed approach to breathe new life into our high streets. We think there are many opportunities out there to change the way our high streets work for the benefit of the communities around them, and we’ve been lucky enough to work on some great projects with a variety of organisations. In this blog post, we’ll look at what happened to the high street, and how city dressing and experience-led spaces can inject positivitiy and enthusiasm for mucipical spaces in the future.
Due to travel restrictions and lockdown measures being imposed across the country, we’ve naturally had to keep our journeys short and shop far more locally. In truth, this has been a change in behaviour that the general public have been keen to embrace – statistics show that 3 out of 5 British people have used more local stores and services since the beginning of 2020. Added to that, according to the Retail Gazette, nearly 60% of consumers have stated that “57 per cent of consumers say they will be more likely to spend money at a shop that offers locally-produced products once the lockdown has lifted than they would have done before the stay-at-home order was imposed.”
On the face of it, therefore, the future is bright for our local high-streets and communities, but as we have seen, we cannot go back to an old outdated model of replacing old, unused buildings with more shops that won’t match demand. We have an opportunity to create something new.
As we wrote about in our blog post on experience led spaces for a changing era of retail, we are now looking for innovation, and the opportunity to create experiences that embrace many different elements of what people are looking for on the high-street. Restaurant and socialising spaces are likely to feature high-up on the lists of people’s needs, alongside spaces that help bring the community together such as residential, temporary business and market spaces.
We believe there are many ways to draw in new local support for these schemes, such as art installations from local artists, community groups, lighting displays, suspended exhibition pieces or canopies for new dining areas, leisure areas or playgrounds.
We’d like to continue the discussion. If you are involved in a high street renovation project, have a creative idea to lift an area of your local community or would like expert advice on rejuvenation and street facelift projects in general, we have been involved in several projects in recent years and would be delighted to discuss your needs in more detail.
If you’d like to know more about how our city dressing services can help you, visit our city dressing page for more information and contact us using this form.