Like many, Orpington Highstreet in southeast London has hit a rough patch in the last few years, however recent developments by the Walnuts Centre in the centre of the town has induced an increase in customers.

With the rapid conversion from Highstreet to online retailing across most popular stores, this decade has seen a real struggle when it comes to retail shopping. It only takes a few clicks of a screen for one to find what they’re looking for, whether it be clothing, technology, or beauty products, and to have them delivered at incredible speeds.

Orpington Highstreet has had quite a few stores shut down and replaced due to the sheer competitive nature of the market and dying numbers of customers. The Walnuts centre and its surroundings has been central to the town, and with recent constructions and investments from large chains, forms a pivotal moment for the growth and profit of the town. A new Odeon cinema, several restaurants including Nando’s and Creams branches and a café among many other things including infrastructural development have been added to the rich features of the town centre such as several gyms, a library, and a college campus with a student-lead restaurant. The new additions have sparked fresh interest from local residents and more people from other areas to travel to the centre, due to the new leisure opportunities.

When interviewing some people in the Highstreet on a weekend, Priyenka Devkota, a student, explained that “the new cinema is a great addition and really attracts lots of younger people. The new restaurants are also great and make for a really good day out.”

As usual, the Walnuts centre was bustling with people, and the demographic consisted of a wide range of people, from students and young adults to couples and families. As for the future of Orpington, the turnout for businesses can be seen to be positive, merely from seeing the number of people on the street, and new additions can definitely be expected in the near future.

By Derin Burke.