High Streets 'adapting' and luring new business

British High Streets are adapting to the challenges of consumers choosing out-of-town shopping complexes and luring new business, a major study has found.

Researchers at Southampton University found there had been a fundamental shift in what consumers thought of as convenience shopping over the last few decades.

Modern shoppers prefer being able to top up the groceries in local stores regularly over buying everything in bulk, the survey showed.

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Leisure aspect of shopping trip 'a significant driver'

The leisure aspects of a shopping trip is a significant driver in where consumers chose to shop, according to a wide ranging survey.

Researchers at Southampton University found:

  • There has been a modest resurgence in specialist retailers such as artisanal bakers, butchers and tea and coffee merchants in high streets.
  • Retailers are exploiting opportunities created by on-line shopping - particularly with the rise in click and collect buying. Within five years, seven out of ten on-line shoppers will prefer to collect goods themselves rather than risk missing a delivery at home.
  • The leisure aspect of shopping trips is a significant driver of footfall and that high streets that include a good range of cafes, bars, restaurants not only increase the dwell time but the average spent during trips to town.

High Streets 'adapting' to changing consumer demands

Britain's High Streets may be enjoying a rejuvenation after a wide ranging study found town centres were adapting to the demands of modern consumers with more convenience stores.

The British High Street had been in the throws of long-term decline. Credit: PA

A long-term investigation into British shopping habits from researchers at Southampton University, found the definition of convenience had changed for consumers.

Convenience retail on high streets, both independently and corporately owned, experienced significant growth over the past 15 years which was sustained during the economic crisis and subsequent period of austerity, the report finds.

Modern shoppers were more inclined to see convenience as topping up their groceries on a daily basis, rather than buying everything bulk by visiting an out-of-town shopping centre, the report said.

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