Oct 14, 2021
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Bargain-focused Britons unsure if the high street is worth saving

Oct 14, 2021

Here’s some news the UK high street might not want to hear. Some 21% of Britons think physical retail isn’t worth saving, preferring to do most or all of their shopping online, a new study from Savoo claims.

Marylebone High Street - Howard de Walden

However, 38% of consumers do see the importance of the high street but will also shop online sometimes. And 20% will spend half their time shopping on the high street and the other half online ,with only 20% using the high street as their main way of shopping. 

Prior to Covid-19, 59% of Britons were shopping physically at least once a week, with 27% buying items on the high street at least 2-3 times a week. But today, there’s been a 16% drop in the number of people shopping on the high street at least once a week, as only 42% of consumers do so. In fact, 25% of consumers are spending on the high street less than once a month, the report claims. 

So what do consumers want when they go shopping? The most important things consumers want from their shopping experience are: finding a great deal (49%); seeing, touching and trying out an item in person (36%); speed and convenience of purchase (33%); and ease of finding a product (29%).

And which are the five brands consumers would hate to see closing down? Primark is top (11.44%), followed by Marks & Spencer (8.4%), Tesco (7.76%), John Lewis (6.72%) and TK Maxx (6.16%).

And now for online shopping. The report claims 45% of British shoppers were purchasing non-essential items online at least once a week before the national lockdown. At the peak of the pandemic, 54% were buying goods online at least once a week. 

Online shopping continues to be a popular purchasing method for customers post-reopening and the rollout of the vaccine, with 50% now buying non-essential products online at least once a week.

Ed Fleming, managing director at Savoo, said: “The pandemic has led to a change in shopping, which is here to stay. Consumers are now looking to support local businesses rather than chain stores and looking to make fewer trips to the high street. 

“In order for the high street to survive and stay as a staple in British culture, the shopping experience should remain at the forefront for retailers. Stores should be offering an experience that people can’t get online or on their phones if they want to keep attracting customers.

“Although some consumers are reverting to the high street, retailers need to consider that there are factors at play now. As more competitors continue to pop up in online spaces, it should be noted that shoppers value that in-person experience that only the high street can offer.”

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