Friday, 22 April 2016

I'm having a love affair....and it's with my High Street...

I love shopping and since becoming a parent I love shopping even more for them than I do for me. I can always find an excuse to nip out and about to do a spot of retail therapy.

I have always had a love affair with the High Street, my local one in particular. There is a real buzz of community on the high street, relationships made with residents and locals and new vistors from far and wide and it's with my local one, Cobham, that I have to thank for where I am today.

Quidco High Street carried out a survey and 74% of the people questioned visited their High Street at least 1-2 times a week. The top 5 reasons that the people asked in Surrey go to their local high street for are to do other non-food shopping (50%), to browse (44%), to do their food shopping (41%), to get a tea or coffee (35%) and to meet their friends (28%).

Cobham High Street, early 1900's

Cobham High Street, early 1900's

Cobham - 1980's - courtesy of Boyce Thornton Estate Agents, Mr. Worsfold

Farrants, my local paper shop - courtesy of Boyce Thornton Estate Agents, Mr Worsfold

Farrants has just had a major refurbishment and is still taking centre stage all these number of years later.

My first job was in a small independent school uniform shop back in 2000 and it's still there today and it's one that I now have to visit to get Charlie's school uniform. From there a year later I went to work in an independent sports shop and had five of the best working years of my life. It was a fantastic sports shop, one right in the center of the village and one that stocked everything sporty from tennis racquets to skis, goggles to spikes and I'm pretty sure that if the sport of Quiditch ever took off they no doubt would have stocked equipment there too.

It was at that very shop that I learnt the basis for what my career now is based around. Customer service. The day to day dealings with different people and giving them the treatment that I as a customer would want to receive if I was a paying customer. I learnt to work under pressure when the Christmas rush was on or the inevitable carnage of what was more dauntingly known as "football and rugby boot season" when stressed out mums would visit us with their broods to get them kitted out for the school term ahead.

Working on the High Street teaches you many things and also gives you great skills to go forward in to many avenues of different careers, for me I picked estate agency and now 16 years on I still work on the same High Street where I had my first job except now I'm selling houses and not school ties or football boots.

Our High Street is such an important place and one that many people tend to over look. It's a place where people gather, the local greengrocers where people once met is now the local coffee shop but even though times move on it does not detract from the fact that every community in an ideal world needs a place to meet, and the High Street is that.

I'm working with Quidco in a bid to get shoppers off their PC or Macs and get back on that High Street with their High Street Cashback incentive which gives you up to 10% cashback at over 40 amazing retailers in over 5,300 locations nationwide.

All you need to do is register your card on the Quidco website, then when you shop at one of their retailers, Quidco tracks your purchase and pays you cashback! 

A few retailers that I love using where I get cashback are Early Learning Centre and MothercareJo Jo Maman Bebe and Argos to name but a few. I have been a member of Quidco now for nearly two years and in those two years have earnt over £200 cashback just shopping in shops that I would usually shop in!

It's Hector's birthday next month so I will naturally be hitting the High Street in search of some fantastic pressies as well as getting my cash back too!

Would love to hear your #HighStreetHappy stories!

Nathalie x

** This is a sponsored collaborative post with cashback site Quidco. **
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