61% worry ‘high street will disappear in 10 years’

Futuristic high street

A new survey has revealed that most shoppers have genuine concerns about the long-term future of the high street in general and independent retailers in particular.

New research among 1,000 UK shoppers has discovered that 61% of consumers are increasingly concerned that the high street could be lost completely as yet more retail store closures hit the news pages. Carried out on behalf of KIS Finance, the survey found that how shoppers view the high street is changing rapidly, with more and more of them choosing not to visit it for a variety of reasons.

Half of all those surveyed said they won’t visit high street stores around Christmas because shops are too busy, while 37% said they wouldn’t visit because there is less choice in-store than there is online.

When asked about what would help get them back onto the high street and into local retailing outlets, the most common responses were “more staff to ensure that the experience is quicker” (41%), “24-hour service so that you can shop at any time” (27%) and “self-checkout service to avoid queues” (26%).

Consumers were also asked what they think the high street will look like in 10 years. Independent retailers were listed as “the least likely” of 11 options to still exist, falling behind outlets such as restaurants, bars, clubs, travel agents and even second-hand shops.

Holly Andrews, Managing Director at KIS Finance, said: “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.”

CJ Lang – Christie