10th March 2015

Shop it like it’s hot

Sarah Kilcourse takes a look at how the way we shop has changed over the years

Manchester is one of the best shopping destinations in the UK; it caters for all different styles and budgets from Selfridges to Primark, Belstaff to Affleck’s Palace. There is a rich array of brands and shops in Manchester’s city centre, plus the Trafford Centre, meaning we’re spoilt for choice. However, after the 2008 recession and the creation of online shopping many high streets are not so lucky, which has lead to a change in our shopping habits.

In years gone by, department stores were the focus of most people’s shopping, boutique shops were not unusual on the high street, different cities would have their own local department store and customers were limited to what they could buy by how far they were prepared to travel. However, in 2015 we are used to seeing the same stores up and down the country. Most cities will have the likes of: Primark, H&M, Topshop, Zara or River Island—fast fashion brands that replicate the latest trends as seen on the runway or celebrities for a fraction of the price (that’s why we love ‘em). The downside of these sorts of shops is the quality; high street stores tend to sell clothes we buy, wear for a year, perhaps two if we’re lucky, but pretty soon they end up looking tatty and outdated.

You can’t picture students in 20 years wearing the dress you bought last week from Zara while vintage clothing is a massive student trend right now. It’s easy for students to buy cheap, good quality clothes that are ten, 20 or 30 years old and still in good nick! It raises the question: How will our current taste for fast fashion impact vintage shoppers in the future?

There is another key change in our modern day shopping habits—online shopping. The BBC reported that 74 per cent of the adult population shop online and nearly half of the purchases are clothing. Online shopping and shopping apps mean we can buy clothes (or whatever else we choose) anywhere and everywhere. The option to order something online when they didn’t have it in the local shop means that customers can pretty much get anything they want.

As students we’re in a prime position now to look as stylish as we like for as much or as little as we like, without having to struggle around the Trafford Centre at the weekend!

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