// 67% of people say their high street has declined in the last five years, according to a Nationwide poll
// 35% want more family-run businesses, a quarter want more bakeries and over a fifth want more butchers’ shops
// Meanwhile, 31% said they want to see fewer betting shops ^ casinos, and 30% want fewer vaping stores
Shoppers want to see fewer vaping and betting stores in their local high street and more family-run businesses including bakeries and butchers, a survey has found.
More than two-thirds – 67 per cent – of people say their high street has declined in the last five years, falling into disrepair and, in many cases, being vacated by businesses, according to the poll for Nationwide Building Society.
The growing popularity of online shopping has had a huge impact on “bricks and mortar” shops in recent years.
- 2019 was UK retail’s worst year ever
- High street crisis to continue into 2020
- The first 14 high streets to receive £1bn funding revealed
However, 71 per cent of people surveyed by Nationwide still feel their high street is an important part of their community – and they shop there twice a week on average.
More than half – 54 per cent – feel there is not enough variety in their high street and 38 per cent think the stores there do not reflect their own shopping habits.
Meanwhile 21 per cent of those whose high street does not meet their needs say it is a generally unpleasant place to shop.
Changes people would like to see include fewer empty stores (45 per cent), more big-name shops (34 per cent), more greenery (26 per cent), less litter (23 per cent), and newly-decorated shopfronts and signs (22 per cent).
Asked what type of shop they want to see more of, more than a third (35 per cent) said family-run businesses, a quarter want more bakeries and over a fifth want more butchers’ shops.
Just over a fifth (21 per cent) would also like to see more market stalls.
Asked what outlets people would like fewer of, 31 per cent said betting shops and casinos, and 30 per cent chose vaping stores.
Nearly three-quarters (72 per cent) of those questioned admitted they would judge a town based on the state of its high street alone.
The survey of more than 2000 people also asked which words they associate most with their high street.
The three most common answers were “sad” (21 per cent), “bleak” (19 per cent) and “indifferent” (18 per cent).
Nearly half (46 per cent) of respondents have also previously felt unsafe in their local area.
“Our research shows that high streets are still very much loved by the nation, despite the decline over the years,” Nationwide branch network director Mandy Beech said.
“The reality is these traditional shopping centres are at the heart of our communities and they really matter to the lives of people.
“Our research shows that Britons want to shop on the high street, but they’re just not necessarily getting the experience they are looking for.”
Here are the shops people want to see more of in their high street, with the percentages of those who chose these options, according to Nationwide Building Society:
1. Family-run businesses, 35%
2. Clothes shops, 28%
3. Bakeries, 25%
4. Butchers, 22%
5. Market stalls, 21%
Here are the shops people want to see less of in their high street, with the percentages of those who chose these options, according to Nationwide Building Society:
1. Betting shops/casinos, 31%
2. Vaping shops, 30%
3. Charity shops, 25%
4. Takeaway food shops, 22%
5. Pawn shops, 18%
with PA Wires