You may have gathered by now, if you’re a follower of my Instagram account, that I’m a bit of a shopaholic. I LOVE shopping, and I mean actually shopping on the High Street, always on the lookout for a bargain! For everyday shopping, Tyler and I visit stores on our local Slough High Street. But for a proper family day out where we want to have the choice of all the brands, we do often hop on a train to nearby Reading. It’s only £8 return on the train and a lovely 25 minute journey that Tyler does enjoy, being a train-a-holic!
I know online shopping is ever the popular choice these days, but for me the High Street is my first choice, and I’ll tell you 3 reasons why I love it:
1) Meeting up with friends for a catchup and some retail therapy
I’m sure this is something all us girls can relate to, in fact according to a survey by Quidco, 30% of shoppers surveyed in Reading go to the High Street to meet friends. Going as far back to school days in the 90s, the first time I was allowed out on my own was to meet my schoolfriends for a McDs on a Sunday and then wander around the shops to spend my earnings from my Saturday job (£15 for a whole day’s work!). Move on to the uni days, and my friends and I would love to try on clothes in High Street stores – TopShop, Miss Selfridge, New Look, Etam! And of course buying loads of makeup from Boots and Superdrug 🙂 These same friends and I grew up together in our 20s, starting our real jobs and meeting up after work for coffee and a spot of late night shopping.
Now we are in our 30s as mums and mums-to-be, and we met up again for lunch and shopping just this week! It felt like we were still 21, there’s something about shopping with friends that makes me feel so happy and carefree. Although the shopping has changed from trying on clothes for us to browsing for cutie baby outfits and toys! Mamas and Papas, Baby Gap, Next to name a few of the stores we visited. And what’s the common theme throughout the years – the High Street!
2) Seeing local history on your local High Street
Next time you go shopping on your local High Street, look up at the architecture. It’s amazing, every High Street in the country has some sort of history, some dating back to market days in the 1300s. I find it fascinating as it’s my guilty pleasure to do find an old photo of a High Street and do before and after photos. You can really see in some areas the buildings above the shops have not changed at all! My other guilty pleasure is finding old Woolworths stores and what store is in the building today, and you probably know by now about my other blog Woolies Buildings – Then and Now. Even though the stores have gone, they are ever present on the High Street with their architecture!
Above is a photo of my boy in front of the old Reading Woolworths, now Clas Ohlsen, and the before photo from 1980. In this case, the Woolworths building had burnt down so it’s a new building, but look at the shop next door on the right and you can see how unchanged it is from when it was a Barratts in 1980. Fascinating isn’t it!
3) Finding a bargain
The biggest buzz for me is when I find a bargain on the High Street, especially one I wasn’t expecting to find. I’ve blogged about my bargain designer coasters that I got from Debenhams for £1.50! And I regularly pop into Choice for my bargain baby outfits that I’ve been collecting for Honey Nut. I’m not alone in loving a bargain, with 60% of shoppers in Reading saying that finding a surprise bargain that they didn’t even know they wanted would make them happy. And 51% actually found the surprise bargain on the High Street. Below are a few of my bargains, costing only £3 each!
This is really something you can only do on the High Street, finding that secret sale rail, rummaging in charity shops to find a something unique to upcycle. You just can’t do that online! That’s why I love shopping on the High Street.
And now there’s an even better way to add to the bargain-hunting on the High Street – getting some money back too! Quidco have launched Quidco High Street, and basically they give you cashback when you go shopping on the High Street at certain retailers. You just set up an account on their website and link your debit or credit card to your account. Then when you go shopping and pay with that card, the cashback goes straight into your bank account. This is my very basic explanation, so check out their website for more details.
You can get cashback at over 4o retailers when shopping on the High Street, including Argos, Debenhams, Gap, River Island, Choice, The Entertainer, Caffe Nero to name a few. I’m like, why didn’t I know about this before?! Anyway, I am spreading the good news as part of Quidco’s #HighStreetHappy campaign.
Now I’d like to hear from you! What do you love about your local High Street?
Please note this is a collaborative post but all words and opinions are my own as always.