You may recall the recent times when a trip to your local town or city centre for a shopping spree would take up best part of your day. From the reliance on public transport, to having to locate the item you want and who could forget to long queues in the retail outlet? It was tiring no matter how fit you were.
Nowadays, thanks to online shopping, all of them troubles have seemed to have vanished and we’ve replaced our dependency on public transport in favour of deliveries and now we can sit and enjoy shopping from the comfort of our homes. With that, there’s no surprise why so many of us are choosing to shop online.
A recent report was released, that revealed the number of shops that been left vacant increased by more than 7,500 last year, which casts a scathing light on the current high street crisis. Some of the worst hit are banks and pubs, but many locations where student workers are rife, such as restaurant chain Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Prezzo Group, have been forced to close some of their doors as a result of rising costs, slower spending and a rapid change in consumer behavior.
It was in 2015, when the number of retail closings were higher than those opening and since then, there has been continued decline year on year. The closures have continued to rise, with chains becoming more vulnerable. Although consumer behaviours changes all the time, more and more people are choosing experiences such as holidays and drinking in their own home, rather than spending it in a shopping centre or a bar.
So, as we’re seeing the technological presence continuing to rise, the high street continues to fall and even firm giants such as House of Fraser and Debenhams have taken a hit. But how is the decline of physical outlets affecting the student population of this country?
Within many cities, there are large volumes of students studying in them who depend heavily on the high street for part time work, to keep them flowing throughout their costly student life. Operating on evening shifts during the week and morning shifts on weekend is the most natural way of implementing employment without getting too much in the way of academic study time.
A survey discovered that, out of 2000 students, a third work part time whilst studying at university and a staggering one in five work two jobs on top of their academic studies. Furthermore, a quarter admitted that financial stress has made them consider dropping out of university, which will ultimately snowball into a bigger problem when it comes to the graduation gap of not enough students for the required jobs on the market.
With that mind, what can the remaining high street brands do to further aid students beyond part time employment?
As far as education is concerned, industry links are vital, with high street giants such as Topshop and Dr Marten’s amongst many fashion brands who regularly visit the fashion students of Newcastle College to set various tasks. Not only does this give invaluable business experience to the students, it is also great for the College, boosting its overall Ofsted score through its commitment to local businesses.
Lisa Hamilton, who is the principal assistant of the college, said: Not only does this give invaluable business experience to the students, it is also great for the College, boosting its overall Ofsted score through its commitment to local businesses.
The scales are equivalent to the importance of both parties though. In recent years, student numbers around the UK have soared and continue to do so, as top grades are becoming more and more attainable, which means university cities such as Oxford and Leeds have larger student shares in populations. Oxford for example, with nearly half of its population coming from the two universities, should be considered a major prospect when it comes to determining where to sustain inner-city growth.
An Urban Demographics report was leaked, revealing students account for around 44% of a city’s population growth. Figures also show that many students who leave home to attend a university further afield tend to stay there for their first jobs through contacts they’ve picked up throughout their university experience. This resurgence, led by young professionals, and soon-to-be graduates, whom are both most likely to spend their money on the high street, could be the ying to the high’s streets yang, and vice versa.