Exeter's Disappearing High Street

With the opening of John Lewis in 2012 and the shiny modernity of Princesshay shopping centre, Exeter sits comfortably as the 38th best retail centre in the UK. However, with news of HMV going into administration and more ‘closing down’ signs popping up in independent stores, what is the future of Exeter’s high street?

Ever since the rise of online shopping and music download mediums such as iTunes, the music and entertainment industry has taken a hit. We saw the fall of the music store Zavvi and its predecessor Virgin. In Princesshay there’s already an empty space where Game had resided. However, HMV has survived and even thrived until the end of January when it’s 239 stores went into administration. While some feel that the disappearance of the store from the high street would not have too great an impact, others feel differently.

Sophie Brown a second year Bioscience student says, "although I do download a lot of music, I still like to buy CD’s. HMV is also my first stop for DVD’s so if it closed down I’d have to start ordering them online."

It’s not just the big businesses that have been affected by the economic climate. Our beloved Rampant Sporting had to have a mega-sale before Christmas to sell as much stock as possible before it had to close its retail stores. Jenniflower, an independent florists on Queen Street has closed up shop and, in a sign posted by the owner, she puts the blame to the double dip recession. These are hard economic times and if big business’s cannot survive surely there is even less hope for smaller stores. With such a rise in internet shopping and no signs of economic improvements, perhaps we are moving to the death of the highstreet.

However, all is not lost. Even to this day we have seen the opening of new business. Ruby Burgers, a modern diner opened it’s doors on Monday and is set to be a great success. Zoo, an independent boutique on Gandy Street has been very popular with the arty crowd. While we might have to wave farewell to some old high street favourites, there is still hope. 

Image Credits: itv.com, tripwow.tripadvisor.com, wikiepdia.com

Hello! I'm Jess, avid writer, full of grand travel plans and slightly addicted to chai. As well as writing for HerCampus (and singing loudly in the shower) I run my own blog at www.mismatchedknitwear.com where I talk about my day-to-day life, post lots of filtered photographs and talk about food a lot. Somehow this got me into the finals of the Cosmo Blog Awards 2013. I don't know either...

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