Shoppers are calling for more shops and services on the high street, with a majority of them feeling pessimistic about the future of their local shopping district.
According to new research commissioned by Visa for the government ahead of the Great British High Street Awards 2018, 21 per cent of shoppers said there weren’t enough shops and services on their high street to meet their needs.
A further 63 per cent said they felt “neutral” or “not very optimistic” about the future of the high street, and only 27 per cent describing theirs as improving.
Broken down further, 52 per cent of shoppers said more shops would encourage them to visit the high street more often, with a further 28 per cent citing extended opening hours would be the key factor.
Independent retailers were more optimistic, with 12 per cent stating they were “very optimistic” about the future, and a further 41 per cent stating they were “optimistic”.
This optimism was most pronounced in the East of England, with 61 per cent reporting a positive outlook, followed closely by the South West, South East and West Midlands.
“The Great British High Street Awards acknowledge in a very important way how high streets are so vital to our nation,” communities secretary James Brokenshire MP said.
“High streets are crucial in creating jobs, nurturing small businesses and driving local and regional economies.
“We want to celebrate the best examples of high streets, as well as those individual businessmen and women playing a leading role.
“The government is doing everything in our power to ensure high streets continue to thrive.”