For the love of House of Fraser! This week after the news of yet another retail giant announced #leaked on twitter, the closure of 31 stores, the subject over Friday morning coffee was all about SHOPPING! Although a slightly different tone to the usual banter of ‘Clare, got any new preloved tops in this week?’
As a 40 plusser how do we all shop? What is your guilty pleasure when it comes to retail therapy? What do you prefer High Street or Online shopping? Will the ‘art of going for a mooch’ be killed off as the millennial tribe favour online shopping? Will our generation see more 40 plusser favourites slowly get killed off to favour the more practical, time poor, instant ‘art of click & collect’?
Bill Bryson summed up the way Brits go high street shopping, in his belly laugh book Notes from a Small Island. As an outsider it was his reflections on people in different parts of the country..20 years ago!
He wrote about entertaining encounters with people in shops (like asking for the food court in H&M because he thought it was M&S) and how women of a certain age (what age do you think he was referring to?) could spy a garment from one end of M&S sprint 300 yards towards the item like their life depended on it, only to stroke the fabric and walk on! Erm of course I’ve never done that before! (she said with her fingers crossed firmly behind her back) Have you?!?
We ROCK High Street fashion! It is not all about the purchase, it is about the TIME created to make the purchase. It is not about spending a fortune, it’s about finding a BARGAIN! It is not about shopping for a new outfit, it is about the process. Trust me I restyle women’s wardrobes and I hear the stories and none of them involve searching online. Or is that due to change?
Here are my Top 5 reasons to keep High Street Shopping ALIVE
1. Going for a 'Mooch'
I can’t go for a mooch on the Internet, that phrase just doesn’t work. Anyway, GFAM actually boosts my step counter and is included in my daily exercise plan! Shopping online I’m just likely to get RSI, surely?
2. It is in my DNA (or in my M&S)
As a little girl, to be taken out into the huge shopping arena that was The Mighty ‘Whitgift Centre’, in Croydon was one of those cosy childhood memories. My Mum left my 2 brothers at home, whilst we ‘mooched’ round BHS (now officially in mourning over the loss and their swimwear range) and spent lunchtime in the café. I can still remember the paper plates with zoo animal featured round the outside, as the plate slowly softened under the heat of sausage, eggs and chips!
Working in retail isn’t for everyone. You are on your feet all day. You deal with the public. Customer is King (even if they are a real *bleep*) Christmas sucks. Late nights drag and the pay can be awful. However, in my experience I had the most fun. The laughter and bonding you got with the team. The stories and yes someone really did take a poo in the changing rooms in a boutique in Bayswater and yes, I have styled some famous folk (who refrained from taking a poo) Loss of jobs is always devastating and once again that ‘people connection’ is also dying.
4. Colourful window displays
Who doesn’t get excited over the first ‘Christmas window’ displays. I know Christmas has arrived on the calendar when in Reigate High Street the little Santa’s appear holding their musical instruments, carefully placed in the window of Simply Sports. It’s the same every year and a form of ‘comfort and joy’ when I see those red coated white beardy hipsters arrive.
Splashes of colour along the High Street, even if it is the RED of the SALE sign, brings a type of identity to any town, no matter how grey the buildings are. I am partial to snapping a shot of some spectacular window displays and posting on my Facebook Page Now it's all about ME
5. It’s more than just a shop
I am an old romantic at heart and it is NOT just about the shop, it is about WHY you need to go to the shop. A child’s birthday gift, a thoughtful present for a loved one, an outfit for a 40th birthday or shopping for your little ones first school uniform and shoes 😊 It is rare, unless lunch hour shopping (but who gets or takes one of those anymore) that you go in and out – job done, unless you are a man!?
Let’s keep this fine art alive, after all with House of Fraser in crisis, New Look not looking too safe, Debenhams in doubt and M&S confused it would be rude not to show support. For those lovely 40 plussers who genuinely hate shopping, I am here to guide you. You can call for a consultation in How I can help you SHOP plus Where and When. I am more than a SHOPPING BUDDY and more of a SHOPPING COACH and one thing I can guarantee is that you will feel FABULOUS inside and out.
Check out my website for details about The Colour & Style Creator
If you prefer to go it alone, take a look at my top 10 shopping tips 😊
I would love to ask 3 questions, either comment in the post or reply by email to email@example.com
What are your top 3 high street shops?
Why are they your favourites?
What shop do you think offers the best value for money? (apart from Studio 36)
Thanks to all of you who replied to my Facebook question for ‘40plusser Friday’. Want to know the answers??? Take a look and here and if you haven’t given me thumbs up yet on my page, please do at Now it's all about ME
A special Thank You and BIG kisses to all the wonderful staff at House of Fraser, Epsom. The friendliest ‘team’ who are no doubt, devastated with their imminent closure. You all made my colourful time there, colouring clients, one to remember.