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The Death of the High Street? - Three articles from 'The Guardian'

One third of shops on Wandsworth's once-bustling high street are now empty 

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"Wandsworth in south London – once famous for its brewery dating back to Tudor times, now infamous for the traffic jams where two main roads converge on a narrow junction – has achieved the dubious distinction of becoming one of the most depressed high streets in Britain, with almost a third of its shops empty. 

"Pat Child, of 'WG Child and Sons High Class Tailoring', who looks up at the portraits of his predecessors to work out that he's the fifth generation tailoring in Wandsworth, says they only survive through loyal customers worldwide, including a judge from Alaska. He dates the death of the high street much earlier, to the Arndale – now rebranded as Southside – shopping centre opening down the hill in the 1970s. 

Waitrose's new-look Canary Wharf store is luxurious … and optimistic 

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"It is an optimistic retailer which splashes out £15m on the refurbishment of a single store – and a brave one which tries to sell fine wines at up to £425 a bottle.

"But this is Waitrose, and the shop is its store at London's Canary Wharf, where banks including Morgan Stanley, Barclays, Citigoup and HSBC have headquarters."

High street vacancy rates: which towns have the most closed shops?

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Are high-streets coming to an end? The Local Data Company has released a report detailing empty shops across the country's high streets. It looks at vacancy rates in town centres, which are standing at around 14.5% across the country - three times what they were in 2008.

"This report suggests that high streets are being less used and are not recovering. The reasons? The state of the economy, the rise of alternative sales channels and the number of shops in the country. This is supported by Liz Peace, Chief Executive of the British Property Federation, who says small shops are not 'viable': 'We must find new ways to get people on to our high streets and in our local shops.' 

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