Living in the high street

Report 027, general - fashion - cosmetics - living

Published 2020 - 09 - 01

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As storefronts are empty, and decreasing price as a result, it will start to become appealing for our residential markets. With residential being in high demand, the change to convert these stores to (sometimes their original) homes will be very natural. Living in and amongst the shops will become a new and natural way to house ourselves in ‘The World After’



The highstreets of towns and cities are traditionally known to house shops, banks, and other businesses. The shops catered to the needs of the people living in and around the city. In the last few decades, it mainly resembles the traditional centre of a city’s shopping district. With more and more consumption thanks to economic growth, the streets started expanding into residential areas, and characteristically busted out the ground floor of the previous residence to make way for a new storefront.


We converted the highstreets into pure shopping centres. Business was booming and the city centres attracted lots of shoppers from all over. Of course, as we now know, online shopping brought this into a great decline. Online stores often have more in stock and are far more convenient in most cases, so the need for a physical shopping district is becoming less and less apparent. The more shops close, the less attraction there is to go shopping, the more shops close- etcetera. The appeal and need for a physical store has decreased. Even in ‘The World Before’ we saw a decline in physical stores in towns and smaller cities such as Deventer in the Netherlands, population 100.000.


To put an even bigger dent in the businesses, the coronavirus has bankrupted many stores, especially locals. It was highly inconvenient to shop in person during lockdowns. Not to mention the people buying have less cash flow from their own jobs to begin with. The massive shopping districts are now doomed to implode. Empty stores litter many of the district’s available spaces.


All problems can be turned into solutions, and stand at the base of trends to come. As storefronts are empty, and a decreasing price as a result, it will start to become appealing for our residential markets. With residential being in high demand, the change to convert these stores to (sometimes their original) homes will be very natural. Living in and amongst the shops will become a new and natural way to house ourselves in ‘The World After’




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