Express & Star

Star Comment: Boots' exodus means a rethink on our high streets

The closure of stores belonging to Boots will be seismic for our High Streets.

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Just as the disappearance of Woolworths changed the nature of many towns and cities, so our historic centres will be markedly different when Boots goes.

That process is, of course, part of the evolution of retail. Our high streets are continuing to change as we shop differently. Bricks and mortar is being replaced by clicks and mice. We use our computers and smart phones to shop, rather than our feet and our purses or wallets.

As consumers spend more of their money online, the stores that have been fixtures on our high streets for decades are gradually disappearing. In Boots’ case, this isn’t because sales are falling. The company says it will close stores in close proximity to other sites - and invest in the stores that remain.

It is the latest in a long list of companies shifting their priorities as consumer habits change. The need for our high streets to offer something different has never been more acute.