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Will the high-street disappear in 10 years? Here’s what UK shoppers said

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New research by KIS Finance has revealed that consumers are worried the high street is going to be lost completely due to the current store closures in the news. From surveying 1,000 consumers in the UK, Brits Christmas shopping habits have also been uncovered, including:

  • Only 14% of Brits do their Christmas shopping in-store
  • 64% of Brits prefer online shopping during the Christmas period as it is available at all times
  • If local high streets had free parking and easy accessibility, consumers would be  more likely to shop in-store
  • 61% of Brits are worried the high street will disappear due to recent store closures in the news
  • Only 1 in 10 get Christmas gifts during Black Friday and a mere 5% shop during Cyber Monday

It is clear that our high street is changing, but from asking consumers about their Christmas shopping habits, KIS Finance have discovered the top reasons why people tend to stay away from going to the high street:

  • Too many people in-store around Christmas time (50%)
  • Less choice in-store than is available online (37%)
  • The shops are too far from my home (20%)
  • The shops shut at the time I finish work (14%)
  • It’s too confusing to find what I need in store (13%)

64% of Brits prefer online shopping during the Christmas period because it is available at all times and over half think it is easier to find gifts online as well as fast delivery being a bonus for many (40%).

By partnering with James Child, Retail Analyst at EG, it is clear to see these changes are having an impact on stores, he says:

“Some of the country’s best-loved brands have been forced to consolidate space or shut entirely. Toys R Us, Maplin, Next, Marks & Spencer, House of Fraser and Debenhams (amongst many others) have all fallen victim to the changing consumer trends that have churned the landscape of British high streets.

In the retail sector online spend is almost breaching 20%, with 1-in-every-5 pounds spent coming through internet sales, which has effected the true value of physical retail stores.”

61% of Brits are worried that the high street might disappear due to recent store closures in the news and consumers admitted that if there was free parking options and it was easier to access, they might come in-store more. Other things that high street stores can change for shoppers to come to the high street more often include:

  • More staff to ensure that the experience is quicker (41%)
  • Clearer stock check in store (34%)
  • 24-hour service so that you can shop at any time (27%)
  • Self-checkout service to avoid queues (26%)

James goes on to say, “The growth experienced in the food and beverage sector is perhaps the greatest beneficiary of the changes on the high street, as well as the rise of trampoline parks, climbing walls and other entertainment and health offers. The high street isn’t dying – it is in state of transition.”

After asking consumers what they think the high street will look like in ten years, it seems that consumers are worried that independent stores won’t exist, the below is listed from most likely to least likely.

  1. Restaurants
  2. Coffee shops
  3. Second-hand shops
  4. Bars
  5. Fast food restaurants
  6. Retails chains e.g. department stores
  7. Clubs
  8. Cinemas
  9. Banks
  10. Travel agents
  11. Independent retailers

Holly Andrews, Managing Director at KIS Finance says: “With store closures flooding our newsfeeds 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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