Quarter of primary school children do not know what a high street is

// 26% of primary school children surveyed do not know what a high street is
// 32% have never been to a butchers, 23% have never been to a greengrocer
// Nationwide Building Society pledges to not leave any town or city in which it is based without a branch until at least May 2021.

A third of primary school age children have never been to a butchers, nearly a quarter have never been to a greengrocer, and 26 per cent do not know what a high street is.

That’s according to new research by Nationwide Building Society, that questioned five to 11 year olds on the shopping habits of their parents, and where they would like to go as part of shopping trips.

Some 32 per cent of children surveyed said they had never been to a butcher’s shop, 23 per cent had never visited a greengrocer and 44 per cent had not visited a florist.

One in seven children surveyed said they had never visited a bank or building society.

Meanwhile 76 per cent of children said their parents’ shopping usually comes from a large supermarket and 40 per cent sad their parents shop online.

Interestingly, despite the convenience of online shopping in rural areas, half of children in London said their family shops online, compared with just over a quarter of children in Wales.

When asked what a high street is, 26 per cent of children did not know, but 72 per cent of the 2,000 children surveyed would prefer to buy items in a shop than online.

Of those that wanted to visit the high street, 64 per cent said they would like to explore different items, 31 per cent said they would feel grown-up doing so and 10 per cent said they wanted to speak to people.

From the children that knew what high streets were, 41 per cent  said they do not think high streets offer enough for them to do.

Nationwide recently pledged to not leave any town or city in which it is based without a branch until at least May 2021.

“Our research shows there is a clear need for local shopping centres in the eyes of the youngest generation,” said Nationwide branch network director Mandy Beech.

“It is up to businesses – large and small – to think how we can work together, invest and rejuvenate our high streets.

“Kids say the high street gives them the opportunity to explore and feel grown-up. But they want more variety and places to play and that can only come from greater investment. This is perhaps what is putting parents off going shopping locally,” Beech added.

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  1. It’s not the 70’s, most of these businesses have been swept away by supermarkets. I doubt they know what a chimney sweep, a candlestick maker, cobbler or a blacksmith is either as most have faded away.

  2. And don’t forget that in the Midlands they are often called MAIN STREET not High Street, and people would say ‘I am going into Retford, Walsall, Nottingham or Birmingham or whatever’ and not ‘I am going to the High Street’ . In other words I think the methodology needs rethinking.

  3. Yeah when I was a kid I would refer to it as ‘Going into town’. Also, I don’t think I ever went to a butchers until I was in my 20’s around 10 years ago. Not sure what the point they are trying to make here or what the agenda is.


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