If you are after an answer as to the demise of the high street, take a trip to Robert Dyas.

Personally, inexplicably, I am a huge fan. Purporting to be one thing but being anything but, it is a concoction of ideas, none of them workable, and it is astounding that it is still one of the mainstays on the high street.

It pretends to be a hardware shop, that sells no hardware. In its place is a litany of old tech, such as ghetto blasters and speakers, coupled with irons, fairy lights, water jugs and flying monkeys.

It has not yet worked out if it is coming or going, and the truth is it is still loitering in the doorway next to the discounted bird tables that seem to be a product range mainstay.

Having just gotten back from a couple of nights away in Guildford, I am more concrete in my assertion that all high streets the length and breadth of the country are the same.

They are homogenous beasts with little in the way of independent sellers as we become more and more globalised at every turn.

Every other outlet is now a charity shop; they pull at your conscience as you decide whether to buy some crap you don’t need from Pet Rescue or the British Heart Foundation.

The decent gear is always gone, and you itch after trying on a jumper of the previous occupant who undoubtedly had nits.

The mainstays still fight the inevitable as they alter their core product slightly in order to stay in the game.

Marks and Spencer’s has now become a glorified supermarket catering for the middle-class crowd who are desperate to get their mitts on some houmous and cranberry flavour crisps with which to impress Tarquin and Tamsin from next door.

Waterstones, like Cotswold Outdoor, is now little but a shop window. I join the throng as I stand next to an item I am interested in and openly Google the same item to see how much cheaper it is on Amazon.

These fitting rooms with their extortionate business rates and rents cannot survive in their current guise and it is no surprise that so many of them are going to the wall.

The safest bet seems to be eateries. I can’t recall a McDonald's or KFC shutting down through lack of custom and many of them are now modern-day community centres.

Crowds of bored teens congregate, safely away from the influences of parental control, as they while away the hours spitting and grunting, only punctuated by frequent refuelling stops to purchase smoothies, burgers and fries.

Parking continues to get worse as councils proceed to milk dry a customer subset that has been beaten into submission.

The environment is being destroyed by people like me driving around for 20 minutes for the privilege of squeezing your car into a space that is blatantly too small.

Park outside the line and it’s a fine before taking out a new mortgage to pay the fee before realising that a 4x4 has parked so close to your driver’s door that an undignified entrance through the passenger door is the only viable means of escape.

With your bad back you struggle through as you put your full weight on the gear stick and yelp in undignified pain before searching unsuccessfully for a pen and a piece of paper with which to leave an effing and jeffing message for the 4x4 driver, who will no doubt be too busy driving and texting to notice your scrappy message underneath the windscreen wiper.

Despite the lack of originality, with coffee shop after coffee shop, fast food outlets and 365-day-a-year sales that are anything but, it would be a crying shame to lose it, but lose it we will.

The emphasis must move away from selling goods that are noticeably cheaper online, and do not require time and parking costs to fulfil the transaction.

We need to veer toward experiences that you can only get in a physical environment. Urban paintballing, trampolining and pop up theatres will save the high street, not 20 per cent-off sales as you are less than discreetly followed around the store by an overzealous security guard.

In truth the high street is not dying as it is already dead.

There is little to draw folk in and they will soon become another relic of the pass as we give even more of our hard earned to the Amazon tribe and moan about how things will never be the same again.

  • Brett Ellis is a teacher who lives in London Colney