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The decline of the shop

Bob Davis

Bob Davis
Eric in the Windows 10 thread, advised how he had enjoyed shopping buying and window. The only things I buy on the net are books from Amazon and postcards and ephemera from EBay. My wife says how can you know that you like and want to buy something if you can't feel it, see it and try it on. But to the point of the theme, the High Street has changed, all the same national chains and charity shops and the most obvious advertising is 'click and collect. Yes those places that are bemoaning the lower footfall in their premises are driving us to the net. Two weeks ago I was in the electrical department of John Lewis, I wanted a new Sat Nav....'sorry sir we don't stock them, you will have to go to our website and buy one online. Need I say anymore? I noticed the last time in Merry Hill empty shops. Look at all the old pictures of shopping parades on the forum, the mix of shops, many of them family owned, all having an individuality, often with proud owners posing outside. Now if you can find someone to help you in a shop, they often cannot answer any question you might have and sometimes seem extremely disinterested. The disinterest has also spread to the big stores, PC World, the DIY sheds. You are either completely ignored or told, sorry I am busy, I will get back to you in a minute....cue exit stage left
Bob
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
I can agree on much of what you say Bob. Certainly, as long as I can carry a bag myself I will never order food online - chosen by someone to their taste, substituted if not available by something possibly absolutely obnoxious or more expensive . Clothes are slightly different in that although one wnats to see and feel them, often, if one has, say, a more generous figure, the shop, understandably, cannot stock all possible sizes. M&S are very good here as you can view, then order the relevant size, and pick up a couple (hopefully) of days later. Books are nice to look at before buying, but the average bookshop often concentrates on "popular" books (brightly coloured cooking books for those who don't cook; celebrity lies (sorry celebrity biographies); long arty fiction that receives reviews in the Times literary supplement but is boring ; or childrens books). Nothing of any real interest, so the net is best for them even though you may not be able to read it first.
 

rosie

brummie
I was in Bearwoood this morning, so many shops have closed down now. Woolworth's went, then the shop became Tesco Express and then a factory shop and now it's empty again. The newsagent /bookshop which was next door was put out of business when Tesco Express took over. They were very good and even ordered a book for me from America at no extra charge.
I don't buy online, I have used QVC shopping channel a couple of times in the past. My huusband likes "Premier Man" online for clothes as he's disabled and it's easier.
 

cookie273uk

master brummie
I only purchase books, DVD/CD's, art materials and printer inks and paper on line. When my Wife was alive we did not have a PC, but it would have made no difference because we enjoyed shopping together, although some of our favourite shops such as Greys, Lewis's and Rackhams have now gone, not to mention good old 'Woolies' I believe Henry's and Peacock have gone, have not shopped in town since losing my Wife in 1998 so not sure what else as gone, do all my shopping now in Chelmsley Wood and Solihull. Eric
 

Williamstreeter

master brummie
What we must appreciate though with some of these High St shops is they fight against each other , my son went into a bookshop at lunchtime a couple of months ago the price of the book he wanted in the shop was £14, he came home from work , went online and could buy the same book from the same company online for £6 cheaper. What would you do ?
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
I recently decided to upgrade my computers and used Curry's/PC World ... even though my earlier opinion of them was not great.

Buying a Laptop
I decided my budget and spent hours looking at their presentable and informative website. I always read the full specifications on their website and decided on a laptop with 17" screen and reasonable specification.
One Sunday morning I wandered into Curry's looked at the laptop and wanted to buy one. I was bit surprised when they said they only had one in stock and someone had reserved it. I had always thought the place was full of computers so I left. Later on Sunday night I looked again at their website and saw there was a Monday sale with 10% reduction on laptops. Using the website I reserved the one I had chosen with no obligation to buy it. A return email came back saying it would be in-store next morning. I went in and bought it.

If you go in knowing exactly what you want (written down if necessary) they soon sense that there is no use trying to sell extras and don't push their extended guarantees if you don't want them. Back home I started it and Win 10 offered to read my fingerprint (wasn't in the spec) and now it starts with a quick read of my fingerprint. I've registered more than one finger on it ...;)

Buying a Desktop Tower... my old one was 12 years old.
Same procedure, studied the specs within my budget and as usual I wandered in to have a look. A sales person told me that the one I wanted was going out of manufacture and no more were being made. A nearby sales person was listening and pointed to another desktop tower and said it was near or slightly better than the item I wanted and was in stock. He left me to play with it and the first thing I did on it was to look at their website to read the full specifications. I liked what I saw (ok it was £30 more than my budget) and bought it. I've been well pleased with it and then decided my 10 year old 19" screen needed replacing.

Buying a 24" Screen.
As usual I studied the specs on their website, went in and looked at the one I wanted which was on display. It looked very nice with an extremely thin frame round the image. There were boxes of them underneath the display so I picked one up and paid for it.

My old laptop went to my young grandaughter and my old screen to a relative. The old desktop tower (made of metal) went to the dump.

I'm not recommending the particular retailer I used but there are not many places were they have computers on working display. You can go in there, do all the things I've mentioned above and have them deliver if you cannot carry large items home.

The laptop was a Dell, the tower an Acer, and the screen a Dell. I've never used those makes before. These days there is not much difference between different makes but try and buy the highest spec you can afford.

One important thing is to always check that the packaging has the manufacturer's unopened seals on them.

I did buy an iPad online !!!
 

sospiri

Ex-pat Brummie
Phil,

I used to build my own desktops, but since moving to Crete in 2005, I have them built to specification by a firm in Leeds and shipped out without an operating system. Cost of carriage is annoying if one of my friends is not driving overland from the UK, but at least I have freedom to put on whatever version of operating system I wish. :)

Maurice
 

cookie273uk

master brummie
I certainly would not buy a PC on line (not being PC wise), bought my Acer Predator from PC world after seeking advice from a member of staff, rather expensive but high specs for my simulator games, had it 2 years and very pleased with it. They upgraded it for me from OS 8.1 to OS 10, I doubt if they would do that if you bought it on line. Eric
 

Radiorails

master brummie
My first desktop (Windows XP), with monitor and printer was bought from a well known large retailer - went bust a some years ago - so no fall back there. I did choose a high spec version for the time. However that was no issue as I was always able to sort out any issues and update.
I bought a replacement when XP became unsupported from Amazon - a German product which had the choice of whatever operating system you wanted and was provided on a DVD. I chose Windows 8.1. (later upgraded to 10). Consequently there was no bloatware (unwanted software or trial software) included with it. I was able to chose what I wanted on my pc, not what someone else thought I should have!
Later on I bought a Sony VAIO (Windows 7), later upgraded to 10, direct from Sony (Luxembourg) and being a discontinued coloured case (white) it was half the UK price for the same specs, but did have much unnecessary software.
You can un-install some of it but you do need to be careful otherwise something essential, or dependant on another app, might be removed by accident.
Since then all trace of Windows has been removed from them and Linux Mint installed. My computer requirements are small and as such have not found any software/programmes that I need that are not supported by Linux.
 

pjmburns

master brummie
Back to shops on the High Street - I drove down Stratford Road Shirley and noticed almost every other shop is a charity shop.
 

Radiorails

master brummie
Most High Streets seem the same Janice. But I do know one or two smaller towns in Devon which have not totally succumbed.
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
For the first time ever I went into a 'Sports Direct' owned shop last week although it did have 'House of Frazer' above the entrance. It should be interesting to see how it turns out.
 

Radiorails

master brummie
We visited a supermarket today - there are four, shortly to be five. and all within shouting distance of each other on the outskirts of Paignton today.
My wife was after, amongst other things, a bottle of advocaat. We searched for it, without success. Now the place was groaning with Christmas type foods, presents and other seasonal paraphernalia.
We asked an assistant about it and was told "Oh! we haven't got any yet; we only have it at Christmas!" :D
 

sospiri

Ex-pat Brummie
Alan,

Advocaat is far from being a Greek drink, but most of the larger Greek supermarkets carry at least one brand. However, get away from food & drink and we find that stocks of many things are much lower than they were a few years ago. That's when we appreciate the internet! I just we had more reliable carriers as the Greek Post Office has very much gone to the dogs.

Maurice
 
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