Why I will miss shopping in Miss Selfridge and Topshop stores now ASOS has moved brands online

My first thought this morning, upon reading that online fashion retailer ASOS has taken over Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT was of our high streets.

Monday, 1st February 2021, 12:47 pm

Visions of rows of empty shops flashed through my mind and, honestly, my heart sank. Now, that’s not to say that it’s not good news that these brands have been saved – of course it is. I only wish at least some of the stores – and the jobs they provided – could have been saved too.

For many people, myself included, shopping is a long-standing favourite pastime activity – a chance to meet with friends and family and enjoy a shared passion. When I was a young girl, I can remember joining my mum as she wandered around the shops looking for a new pair of jeans or a perfect handbag. I was mesmerised by the choice; the colours, the fabrics, the patterns.

Indeed, one of the first adult clothing stores I shopped in was Miss Selfridge. I spent hours in there. I I love that feeling you get when you walk in to a shop and see that one thing you fall in love with and know you have to buy. Online shopping simply can’t compete with that. Unless you are willing to scroll through hundreds of pages of stock, you’re simply not going to see everything a brand has to offer – and searching by your favourite colour or style takes away the opportunity to be completely surprised, and therefore broaden your own sense of style.

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The Topshop store on Fargate will be just one of the many branches across the country to close

Shopping in stores gives instant pleasure; you choose something, try it on straight away and buy it. Even with next day delivery for online shopping, you’re waiting at least 24 hours for your item to arrive – and usually paying quite a lot for the privilege. Then there’s the fact that online shopping is a solo activity. Sure, you can send the webpage with a top you’re considering buying to a friend to ask them if they think it would suit you before you click the buy button, but it's just not the same as browsing round the shops with that same friend, chatting as you go, and asking them for advice once you’re in the changing rooms.

I, for one, will greatly miss the joy of in-store shopping.