In the last five years, online shopping has increased rapidly. According to this report by Sky News, almost three-quarters of the population now buy goods for delivery via the internet, at least once a month. The new figures, from communications regulator Ofcom, also found that internet shopping was more popular in the UK than in the other countries.
Whilst there are many great benefits to shopping online, it does fail to provide that good old fashioned buying experience that so many of us have enjoyed for years. As a resident of Reading, shopping in store not only allows me to support local businesses, it makes returns and exchanges much easier, plus I don’t have to worry about delays and lost parcels. It also means I have an excuse for a day out with friends and can grab a bite to eat at the same time.
Online Fashion Shopping In The UK
With two big shopping centres, a range of high street stores and several quirky boutiques, Reading is the premier shopping destination in the south east outside of London. I can do everything here from picking up birthday gifts for the family, revamping my wardrobe or helping my grandmother to get her hearing checked at Hidden Hearing. Why spend time sitting inside on the computer when you could be exploring this superb shopping scene?
Start on Broad Street, the main pedestrian high street in Reading. Here you’ll find department stores and high street chains, as well as the Broad Street Mall and entrance to The Oracle Shopping Centre. The Oracle is home to more than 90 retail stores and over 30 restaurants and cafes. There’s also a cinema on-site, perfect for treating the kids at the end of a long day.
Broad Street Mall offers great high street names and Harris Arcade is the place to go for a unique shopping experience, with a collection of boutiques and independent traders. The Arcade is Reading’s oldest shopping centre and is perfect if you’re looking for something out of the ordinary.
Unlike online retailers, the bricks and mortar stores of Reading offer superb customer service, something that the internet lacks heavily. According to Retail Times, new research by the Intuitive Customer Experience Company has found that online retailers are failing to provide shoppers with the right customer support. The process of ticking boxes and filling in forms to buy that special gift online simply isn’t the same as being in store with a happy cashier who offers to gift-wrap it especially for you.
With many specialist and vintage shops in the town, the in-store shopper will find many unique items that they won’t necessarily find online. The same goes for Reading’s regular markets that offer fresh produce, arts, crafts and gifts.
Reading offers a fantastic shopping experience, for both resident and visitor alike, not to mention a number of restaurants, cafes and bars should you wish to make a night of it. Add to this, two casinos, two multi-screen cinemas, jazz clubs, a film theatre and open air Shakespeare, and you have first-class entertainment. Now why would you shop online with all this on your doorstep?