61% of Brits worried high street will disappear

2112
Easter
// 61% Brits anxious high street will disappear in the next 10 years
// 1000 Brits were surveyed by KIS Finance
// Leeds & Glasgow have been hit the hardest by store closures

Over 60 per cent of Brits are worried that the high street will completely disappear within the next decade due to the current rapid store closures.

New research by KIS Finance surveyed 1000 Brits and found 61 per cent of respondents worried about the key retail destination.

The survey also found that northern cities have by far been hit the worst by store closures.

Food and drink, discount and fashion brands are predicted to be the next big closures of the high street.

The research found that if local high streets had free parking and easy accessibility, consumers would be more likely to shop in-store.

It mapped out which cities had been hit the hardest by the major store closures of the last year, including those announced already in 2019 such as Marks and Spencer.

This revealed northern cities such as Leeds and Glasgow had been hit far harder than their southern counterparts.

“It is quite likely that there will be a continuation, if not a proliferation of the negative headlines in retail,” EG retail analyst James Child said.

“The raft of CVAs and administrations in the sector has culminated in an expected 1600 store closures across the UK, with over 18 million sq ft of prime retail real estate vacated.

“When we break down the events of 2018 there are some trends which we could well see exacerbated into 2019 due to fragile trading conditions and economic uncertainty.

He added: “There are certain sub-sectors that will face more pressure others. The fallout from the department store will continue at pace, with the future of House of Fraser, and Debenhams in particular should come to a head, a merger quite possible with a reduction of their overstretched portfolios.

“Food and beverage, value and fashion brands will come under more strain as over stretched markets begin to weed out weaker offers as retail Darwinism bites.”

The research also discovered that 41 per cent of consumers wanted more staff to ensure the experience is quicker.

KIS managing director Holly Andrews said: “With store closures flooding our news-feeds recently, we were interested to find out what the future holds for the high street and how consumers’ shopping habits might affect retailers’ footfall.

“It is obvious from our research that people do still like going into store to shop, but it just isn’t as accessible as online shopping is.

“To save the high street many retailers need to ensure that they are thinking innovatively about how to draw customers in with clearer in-store stock checks, more staff and extended hours during busy periods.

“The reason why so many retailers are struggling with their stores is because consumer shopping habits are changing and the high street needs to change with it, creating a more community led atmosphere with more accessibility and variety for everyone.”

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