Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Has the “death of the high street” been exaggerated?

New studies published today have found that UK consumers still opt for physical shopping destinations and suggest “the death of the high street” has been exaggerated.

A report by The Markey Creative has found that 75 per cent of consumers surveyed would not abandon the high street for online shopping.

Nearly half of consumers preferred to get a feel for the products they were purchasing and nearly a quarter said they enjoyed the social aspect of shopping. 

A further 88 per cent said staff were important to the shopping experience.

More research conducted by Intu and Savills found that shoppers still flock to shopping centres, with 43 per cent of consumers rating shopping centers in their top three places to buy clothing and footwear.

RELATED: Online sales rises 17% amid declining high street footfall

The report also found that this percentage was higher for younger consumers, attributing the range of shops facilities as a key pulling factor.

“Declining footfall and shop closures paint a gloomy picture of the high street,” The Market Creative managing director Sue Benson said.

“But we shouldn‘t underestimate just how much we as a nation love the experience of spending time with friends and family out shopping. 

RELATED: New initiative to save high street retailers launches this week

“The need to see and try products in the flesh will also continue to send shoppers out into towns and city centres.” 

Mark Simms, head of shopping centre agency at Savills, added: “The appeal of shopping centres, particularly amongst younger demographic groups, highlights the role the wider retail environment can play in attracting consumers. 

“In turn, this maximises the performance of individual retailers.”

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