Princes Street presents Poundland: Does it reflect the decline of Britain’s high streets?

Poundland opened its Princes Street store on November 16 (Credit: @edinspotlight)

The opening of Poundland’s new flagship store on Princes Street has split residents of Edinburgh, writes Darren McConachie

The site officially opened last weekend and has already drawn both praise and criticism in equal measure.

Many of those who frequent the shops of Princes Street believe that a Poundland opening is the first step towards losing the prestige that so many feel the street holds.

Businesswoman Jane McAllister is one of the residents who feels that there were better options for the site, including the addition of a restaurant or another cafe.

She said: “Whilst I understand the argument that Poundland will allow people to buy things, I think that other faculties could have been put to use there.

“It is clear that Princes Street is no longer what it once was.”

However, many others are delighted to see the shop open its doors to welcome the masses.

Calum Campbell, a student at Edinburgh University, has hailed Poundland for the opening and thinks that it will benefit everyone in the area.

He said: “I’m confused why people are moaning about this. It’s just a shop with plenty of other shops.

“As a student, I’m not going to knock having a Poundland around that means I can spend less and get more. That is exactly what the customer wants.”

While opinion is split, Poundland will no doubt continue selling from their new shop where the only big issue will be if they can make people think differently about shopping in a discount store.

The mindset may shift someday soon, but until then it seems that students and those who don’t mind a bargain will be propping up the aisles of Princes Street’s newest boutique.

Could ‘Black Friday’ be the saving grace for Britain’s high streets?

Analysis by Josh McConnellogue

It is no secret that Britain’s once glorious high street is in decline.

But with stores like House of Fraser, Maplin and Poundworld all collapsing in 2018, could ‘Black Friday’ be the key to bringing back much-needed investment?

Sigma, a user experience agency, showed that purchases made on ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Cyber Monday’ gave the British retail sector a massive £7 billion cash injection in 2018.

However, in-store retail spending over the ‘Black Friday’ shopping period dropped by 7% in 2018.

So why the dramatic decline?

Suggestions are that instead of heading to a crowded high-street, and facing the prospect of low stock or dealing with stressed out retail workers, consumers are staying in the comfort of their own homes – unrestricted by the high street opening hours – and are ordering online whenever they want.
In addition, with more and more retailers investing heavily online, customers have a wider selection from their phones than in-store.

Household names like Karen Millen, Jack Wills, Bathstore, Patisserie Valerie, Coast and Debenhams have all gone into administration this year.

The switch from in-store to online is evident with online clothing site Boohoo snapping up Karen Millen and Coast to open them as online retailers only, contributing to record highs in empty shops.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: