Brexit hasn’t shaken Britain’s love of the high street

Nearly two thirds of British shoppers say that they still prefer to view items physically before making a purchase, according to a new report.

Research from Barclays’ New Retail Reality report indicates that although British shoppers still have a love of the high street, 57 per cent say they would be more likely to visit a store which integrated VR and digital technologies.

In additiong to shoppers wanting a new form of high street which integrates technology more effectively, two thrids want the government to prioritise the protection of retailers in Brexit negotiations.

In the next year, 81 per cent of people say they would shop in a physical store, while 60 per cent said they would shop in the same store online showing an enduring desire for physical retail.

Shoppers are also over four times more likely to visit an independent local retailer than they are to use a subscription delivery service, according to Barclays’ report.

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Over half of shoppers surveyed stated that they would like to see more VR, more augmented reality and more digital mirrors in stores. A further 65 per cent said they would also like to see more touch screen technology. 

Digital payment technology is also a big attraction for shoppers, with 48 per cent describing mobile payments as “life changing”.

“Consumer confidence in the retail sector is continuing despite uncertainty caused by the Brexit vote, and there are opportunities ahead for retailers if they can maximise the opportunity of ‘Brand Britain‘, both at home and abroad,” Barclays head of retail Ian Gilmartin said.

“Consumer expectations are currently moving faster than retailer innovation. More investment is needed to keep consumers coming back for what they love – great British high street experiences.

“The conclusion from our research is that the key to success for many retailers is to offer a balanced high street and online offering, taking advantage of technological innovation in store to attract shoppers through their doors.”  

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