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High street shopping

youmightlikethis Avatar
25 Jul 2020 6:08AM
do you find high street shopping a pleasure or a pain in the present situation
DaveRyder Avatar
DaveRyder Plus
9 7.2k 22 United Kingdom
25 Jul 2020 6:44AM
We started to visit the local supermarkets again a few weeks ago - not too bad.
No queues and relatively normal.

Then, last weekend, we tried a local outlet centre.
Queues for all the shops, changing rooms closed, limited numbers in shops - not pleasant at all.

Now on top of that - damned masks

We're back to getting full weekly shop on supermarket deliveries - no problem getting deliveries from either ASDA or Tesco where we have accounts. Most other stuff from Amazon. Sue will have any clothes delivered and return if necessary.

So, concisely - Visiting the retail environment is a pain and we are choosing not too.

Our trips out for the next few weeks will be to restaurants or open spaces (parks, gardens etc.) where masks are not required.
mrswoolybill Avatar
mrswoolybill Plus
16 4.7k 2635 United Kingdom
25 Jul 2020 8:07AM
During lockdown the weekly trip to Waitrose in Hexham (Golden Oldies' Hour from 8 to 9am, superbly managed and a very friendly atmosphere) became something of a treat, the nearest thing we had to a day out. We are keeping that up.

Similarly, once non-essential shops reopened, a trip to London Camera Exchange in Gosforth was quite exciting.

We try to visit the local high street regularly, to support the shops that matter such as the greengrocer, hardware store and stationer, and also to catch up with local gossip. It's a community where people know each other, and everyone has been much more inclined to stop and talk since lockdown.

Our main extravagance during lockdown has been DVDs of theatre performances, and we regard those as an investment for many more evenings' enjoyment.

I bought a new linen shirt in M&S the other day - no queue, and the shop nearly empty. Apart from that we don't actually need any new clothes this year so no inconvenience there. I would never buy clothes on line, so few manufacturers state what they are actually made of, and that's the first thing that I look at.

Everyone was wearing masks yesterday, which I was relieved at. It really is very little inconvenience, and should have been made mandatory as soon as the supply of PPE to the NHS and to carers was assured.

Generally though I do not regard shopping as a 'leisure activity', and never have. There are much more enjoyable things in life.
altitude50 Avatar
altitude50 19 23.9k United Kingdom
25 Jul 2020 9:11AM
We have been self isolating, out of choice, for 20 weeks. (Asthma well controlled at the moment). Food is delivered by supermarket with few problems since the early days.
We arranged for (regular) prescriptions to be delivered by post last year.
We have relatives within a few miles who would help out if needed and neighbours who would if necessary.
With things as they are and the very real possibility of a second wave of Covid, the probability of us going to the high street in the forseeable future is very, very, low.
The days of going out for a meal are probably over.
I don't feel threatened or cut off or desperate to mix with people at all.
BUT I do feel sorry for the small retailers.
mrswoolybill Avatar
mrswoolybill Plus
16 4.7k 2635 United Kingdom
25 Jul 2020 9:23AM
Just to add to my previous post - our favourite local coffee shop has not yet reopened, the owner has been busy making a lot of improvements. I fear that she will struggle, as her regulars are mainly older people who will be reluctant to return to anything like pre-lockdown life. I cannot see us returning there for a long time, and it is a pleasure that we shall miss badly.

We have been exercising the National Trust and English Heritage passes furiously, at least two visits a week for the walks. Our only 'eating out' has been their take-out refreshments. National Trust chocolate brownies are to die for...
sherlob Avatar
sherlob Plus
17 3.3k 133 United Kingdom
25 Jul 2020 9:32AM
I had need to visit the Trafford Centre in Manchester last week - a large Mall. The experience left me cold and I couldn't wait to get out. We queued for 20mins to get in with folk who didn't seem to understand the notion of social distancing. We were told and accepted the rationale that the centre was controlling the numbers entering the mall, only to find at several other entrances there was no such control. My wife is a self confessed shop-o-holic and even she hated it vowing not to return until after the current restrictions have been lifted. On the whole a horrid experience.
LenShepherd Avatar
LenShepherd 15 4.7k United Kingdom
25 Jul 2020 9:38AM

Quote:do you find high street shopping a pleasure or a pain in the present situation

For the High Street shopping that matters (camera shops) - in North Yorkshire it remains good.

For supermarket and specialist food shop visits during OAP hours it is excellent "up North" and at other times if you work out when there will be relatively few customers - locally you should not be disappointed. Working out when supermarkets and many shops are likely to have few customers is not much more difficult than working out what time of day there might be a sunset.

No problem in Leyburn choosing from 15 different olives, 50 different cheeses and over a 100 malt whiskies, with some food prices lower than at the nearest Sainsbury's 20 miles away - all in one shop.

Cafes can be challenging as some have yet to cotton on big signs in the window saying booking by phone first is OK for lunch and dinner - but they loose lots of customers at quiet times of the day.

Cafe service is of course slower as it takes time to regularly clean down everything, record your contact details etc.

Sorry to suggest a "re-think" on the view on changing rooms - they should be cleaned down after each customer has used one - and tried-on clothing put to one side pending steamer cleaning or its alternatives.

Anybody who expects to spend time just trying on clothes rather than buying with a specific purpose and expecting "instant changing room service" is in my view being unreasonable - and perhaps needs to rethink what they can reasonably expect during the pandemic.
Tianshi_angie Avatar
25 Jul 2020 10:21AM
Hate shopping full stop. Covid has made no difference to that aspect of my life, I have bought everything for many years on-line and have no difficulty returning anything that doesn't fit or wasn't as described or has some other reason for a return. The only reason I go into the 'high street' is to post a parcel or to visit the optician. And good manufacturers do have a 'drop down' information section which will tell you all of the item's specific details - size, weight, composition, energy consumption etc etc. I actually think that I can visit more places and decide on more versions by visiting 'outlets' on line than I would in the high street, thus making the majority of my purchases 'fit for purpose'.

I do feel sorry for the small retailers and my suggestion to them would be to have a presence on line as well as the high street.
Snapper Avatar
Snapper 18 4.5k 3 United States Outlying Islands
25 Jul 2020 10:28AM
Can't really comment on this, but it's got to be better than the New Chic advert for harem pants currently displaying alongside this topic. Unless these are preferred wear for some EPZ members .........Blush
answersonapostcard Avatar
25 Jul 2020 10:28AM
I've never been a great fan of shopping centres, the only advantage is being able to shop out of the rain!

I much prefer smaller town shopping with individual shops, like Hebden Bridge - I make a beeline for the pottery shop every time.

Food shopping at the beginning was scary but people mostly kept their distance (I mostly shopped in Lidl at the time) but as restrictions eased so did peoples behaviour, and the controls in store. Since the introduction of masks I noted a slight change in that, it seemed to concentrate peoples minds that we are not out of this thing by a long way! Everywhere I went yesterday the majority were wearing masks, the only people I saw who were not were a couple wearing woollen scarves - looked very hot and uncomfortable, and one young lad who had obviously forgotten and tried to use his T-shirt (at least he considered it!) - there were however, masks available at entrance along with sanitiser for both hands and baskets. The staff were also wearing masks - they had a choice of mask or visor when on the shop floor.

I saw something late last night so it may be wrong, I was very tired, that the government have changed the law for mask wearing to be compulsory for 12 months.

A friend of a colleague is a doctor at a hospital on covid duty, 12 hours shifts in full PPE and may now have to have laser treatment on her face to remove scar tissue caused by the PPE. Wearing face coverings/masks might be uncomfortable and a bit of an inconvenience to us - no one ever said "hey brilliant I get to wear a mask today", but its hardly a sacrifice.
mrswoolybill Avatar
mrswoolybill Plus
16 4.7k 2635 United Kingdom
25 Jul 2020 11:01AM

Quote:I've never been a great fan of shopping centres, the only advantage is being able to shop out of the rain!

Ditto! The Metro Centre along the valley from us is grimly, totally soulless, but it has sucked the life blood out of some local town centres. Prudhoe has coped well, due to a strong community spirit and a long-standing campaign to persuade people to shop locally at least once a week. Only two businesses have closed down since March, a cafe and the Youth Charity shop, and the town only has four empty high street premises in total, compared with over 20 in Hexham. But it's early days yet.
franken Avatar
franken Plus
21 5.8k 4 United Kingdom
25 Jul 2020 11:07AM
Most of our groceries are ordered online and delivered. This is nothing new to us as we've been doing this for over ten years.

We visit high street shops for other items and have got used to queues etc which may be with us for some considerable time. No problem for us at the moment.
Dave_Canon Avatar
Dave_Canon 17 2.2k United Kingdom
25 Jul 2020 11:24AM

Quote:do you find high street shopping a pleasure or a pain in the present situation

Neither as we do not do any. All food, drink and other items ordered on-line. This is not as good as choosing food yourself but works for the moment.

sitan1 Avatar
sitan1 Plus
15 1.3k 1 United Kingdom
25 Jul 2020 11:31AM
Since Lockdown we have only visited supermarkets as and when we needed.
Going in the morning was super stressful due to the massive queues waiting to get in.
We now go evening time when there are no queues and less people which has taken away the shopping stress.
Unfortunately there are still people out there who don't abide by social distancing and think its OK to lean over you to get something from the shelf instead of waiting the 10 seconds for us to move on.
mrswoolybill Avatar
mrswoolybill Plus
16 4.7k 2635 United Kingdom
25 Jul 2020 12:18PM

Quote:Unfortunately there are still people out there who don't abide by social distancing and think its OK to lean over you to get something from the shelf instead of waiting the 10 seconds for us to move on.

Tesco in Hexham on Thursday - admittedly a day before face covering became mandatory... I loathe the store but they are the only place locally to stock rye flour...
Only around 10% of customers were wearing any face covering, and people were constantly leaning over in front of me. At the checkout I had to stand in front of the floor marker because when I stood back two people pushed in ahead of me. It's a very poorly managed store, and that shows.
I had heard a number of people, old enough to have more sense, talking about flouting the rule. But in the end behaviour in our local Prudhoe shops was exemplary yesterday.


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