High Street (or the High Street) is a metonym for the generic name (and frequently the official name) of the primary business street of towns or cities, especially in the United Kingdom. It is usually a focal point for shops and shopkeepers in city centres, and is most often used in reference to retailing. However, in recent times the phrase "High Street banks" has been widely used to refer to the retail banking sector in the United Kingdom.
The equivalent in the United States, Canada and Ireland is Main Street, a term also used in smaller towns and villages in Scotland and parts of rural Australia. In Jamaica, North East England and some sections of Canada and the United States, the usual term is Front Street. In Cornwall, some places in Devon and some places in the north of England, the equivalent is Fore Street; in some parts of the UK Market Street is also used, although sometimes this may be a different area where street markets are currently (or historically) centred. In Canada, King Street and Queen Street are often used instead of Main Street (which is more prevalent in the United States). The Dutch equivalent is Hoogstraat, of which examples are found in cities such as Brussels, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Bruges, Rotterdam and many towns.
High Street is the most-common street name in the UK. According to a survey by the bank Halifax there are 5,410 High Streets, 3,811 Station Roads and 2,702 Main Streets.
In more recent times, especially with the introduction and growth of the Internet, High Street may also be interchangeable with the term "bricks-and-mortar business" in the United Kingdom (note the spelling with the "s", compared to the United States term "brick-and-mortar"), referring to the material used in the construction of a retail shopfront operation versus an online Internet operation.
Famous quotes containing the words high and/or street:
“We do not prove the existence of the poem.
It is something seen and known in lesser poems.
It is the huge, high harmony that sounds
A little and a little, suddenly,
By means of a separate sense. It is and it
Is not and, therefore, is.”
—Wallace Stevens (18791955)
“Nothing makes a man feel older than to hear a band coming up the street and not to have the impulse to rush downstairs and out on to the sidewalk.”
—Robert Benchley (18891945)