the issue is us - be the change.

December 14, 2023

It's easy for us to look outside for the reason why our high streets are in decline. But what we may be failing to recognise is that collectively, we have the power to turn things around. xplore mobile technology has been thoughtfully designed to connect and grow a community of likeminded people that understand and prioritise shopping small and independent.

britain has lost 6,000 store fronts in five years.

The financial pressures forcing shop owners to close their stores has left us with undesirable, 'gap-toothed' high streets. The British Retail Consortium points to 'crippling' business rates, the cost-of-living crisis and Covid as contributing factors. With Local Data Company reporting almost 2000 independent stores left empty this year along, the outlook for our towns and cities is looking anything but bright.

the department store model is broken.

Larger stores with floorspace are too big, according to Michael Murray, chief executive of Frasers, who is facing concerns over alternative use for excess retail space, or closing stores. So, could the economic future of our towns and cities rest on the small, yet perfectly formed independents instead? We think so.

government is killing the high street.

Simon Jenkins recently reported in The Guardian that ‘developers and their political allies are killing the high streets' and that 'only a people’s revolt can stop them now’.  In France, local independents are protected but local legislation, but our lax planning laws and business rates are crippling independent retailers. As individuals, we have the ability to vote with our voices and our wallets.

the real issue is Amazon.

Still relevant 3 years on, Guardian columnist John Harris explains how global giants such as Amazon are causing the societal problems we face. We fixate on the decline of the high street, as it is the thing that we can see. He continues, that 'while traditional shops may be in free fall, between January and August 2020 the Amazon empire increased by more than half to £1.1tn. Across the 2023 Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend this year customers around the world purchased more than one billion items on Amazon. However, it's important to understand that a small proportion of those purchases are from independent retailers. Independent retailers trying to stay afloat.

no, the real issue is us.

If we really take a moment to consider why our high streets are falling around us, we will soon realise that the problem is us. We must reflect on our own actions. Our desire for convenience and instant gratification is trumping our innate need to belong. Communities play an important part in our sense of belonging, but our patronage of the e-commerce giants is contributing to deep social transformations that simply don’t serve us. Quite the opposite, they are damaging to our health.

xplore is tech for good.

xplore is tech for good. It is an enabler for small independent businesses.  It is a place where people and business owners can connect. It is a collective of like-minded people that care about the state of our communities and want see our neighbourhoods, towns and cities unique and thriving.  

join the movement.

When you download xplore, you not only unlock a world of discovery, you are part of a movement to create the world we want to see.

Together we can build vibrant communities and a connected world in which we want to live.


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