The rise of technology has stripped away the vital human contact and interaction that we need. It has also knocked holes in high streets around the UK, which are thankfully being filled in by innovative pop-up shop schemes and more permanent start-ups and entrepreneurs. Being able to use your senses to fully appreciate a product or sample before you buy is an important part of the process and there is a newfound breadth to the types of shops you can find.
Moving from shop to shop and picking up goods is a way of socialising and feeling involved with the local community. Before the arrival of the internet and supermarkets we shopped like this for generations and more and more of us are turning full circle in a bid to find a more authentic experience. What makes up the heart of a town is its shops and commerce is its lifeblood.
Not driving miles to shop is obviously better for the environment, especially if you can walk or cycle to local independent retailers. They often stock environmentally friendly products that use less packaging as well. At a time when climate change is becoming more pressing, switching your shopping habits is an uncomplicated way of doing your bit for the planet.
Fleur de Lis Florist by Peter Flude
The mega-malls and homogenous high streets don’t speak to the originality of each customer in a way that independent shops can. You might be looking for an offbeat or hard-to-find birthday present, or just something with a colour and flavour you won’t find in the catalogues of bland brands. The weird and the wonderful is to be celebrated rather than pushed into a niche.
Heygates Bookshop Bognor Regis by Peter Flude
The high street is being redesigned, with the traditional and larger brands closing or moving online and smaller premises being taken over by independent shops as everyone faces economically challenging times. These new outlets need support to create further opportunities for the local residents and to champion their creativity. Money spent in these premises travels less distance to stay within the community but goes further in helping that same community thrive.
Eco Swap Bognor Regis by Peter Flude
If a retailer has searched long and hard to source the right products for their independent shop, there is naturally already a story to tell there. They know exactly where the products come from and who made them, sometimes in granular detail. This translates into a deeper level of care and means that their customers benefit from a more personalised experience. Their passion for what they do is unmistakable.
Good and Fair Shop, Bognor Regis by Peter Flude
Human beings need social interaction and shopping provides this in spades. Meeting new people and learning a bit of their life story grows the mind and helps garner a sense of belonging in a place. There is also the physical element of getting out of the house and into the wider world. Carrying your own shopping or cycling home with it is a good and inexpensive way of taking a bit of exercise.
Bognor Regis High Street 2022, Peter Flude
Food & Drink