Britain’s High Street may have been hit by the recession, however this information-heavy infographic throws up some surprising tidbits on my fellow countrymen’s shopping habits. Before I get into the nitty gritty, I’ll confess I’m a Brit, though I now live in the US. I was born and raised ‘Oop Northe, but exported myself to the lager-drinking ‘Sarf and raised some Essex boys and girls. With that off my chest, I can throw my mud without fear of the cries of rampant, regional prejudice.
I didn’t like it.
Pastel shades turn me off: you are supposed to be portraying information in a concise and attention grabbing fashion, so why use sickly shadow coloring? Be like the SAS (British Special Forces), whose motto is “He Who Dares Wins”, but this piece scored high on the wimp-o-meter with poor attention-grabbing power.
The interaction between the data bars for 2008 and 2010 underlined my initial lack of confidence. Indeed, I thought it looked suspiciously like a first, faded draft of a truncated London Underground tube map sans station names.
When I started to look deeper into the information portrayed, I felt myself getting hooked. This kind of thing always does with me. My favorite part of the piece was the regional hotspots which, despite the pastel shading, clearly presented the information.
London has more restaurants than the rest of the country and of course, fine dining requires fine clothing, so London’s High Streets also boast more clothing stores. That makes sense to me.
The North-South divide is made clear with the number of fat people directly correlated with the concentration of takeaways (fast food for my American cousins), in the North of the country. Alas, as a Brit in the US, this only made me yearn for chips, mushy peas, pudding and gravy…twice!
One surprise for me was that the Welsh have such a higher concentration of pubs on their High Streets than the rest of the country, even London. This may have something to do with the state of Welsh rugby and the need to drown sorrows, but one glaring sign of whiteness was around London itself. Something didn’t ring true for me. According to this infographic, London has the lowest concentration of the country. Now I may be wrong on this, but I seriously must question the data on that, though if true, it is a shame this wasn’t highlighted and drawn out more.
Another surprise for me was that the hairy Scots have a higher incidence of hairdressers. I expect this can be explained by the need for all that Celtic hairiness creating demand. However, it is usually the English who are viewed as more, shall we say ‘effeminate’, by our northern coiffured neighbors. This may also be explained by the parlous state of Scottish rugby at the moment, with husbands and boyfriends losing huge bets with wives and girlfriends. Long may that continue.
A lack of boldness, sickly colors and the London Underground-style comparative chart just turned me off. What saved this from an F were the 6 regional hotspot maps of the country.
Loved the information with the regional hot spot maps. Could have drawn out some of the big points a little more, but in a way this was a good thing because it made me curious. In other words, it gave me just enough to leave me wanting more.