Can We Save Our High Streets?
Tribes Research report that the future of High Street and local shopping is under threat, with more and more consumers selecting online alternatives. There is a clear shift from High Street to online shopping, which looks set to continue. 44% of people shop less on the High Street/ locally than they did three years ago, with 53% stating that they shop more online across the same time period. This looks set to continue in the next three years, with 49% of people expecting to spend more online than they do today.
So, the convenience of shopping online is driving more people to turn to their screens. With stores closing across the UK, 30% of those shopping less on the High Street, said they find it easier to shop online, 17% saying it’s cheaper, and 12% stating online shopping gives more choice. With online spending driving store closures, the lack of variety on the High Street was identified as one of the reasons people are turning away, mentioned by 21%. High parking fees were also a factor; 8% felt that the high cost of parking was a barrier to High Street shopping.
On a positive note, results show that there is goodwill towards High Street shopping, but it’s not simply a case of good v bad, as online shopping is guilt free. A large number (85%) felt that a variety of thriving local shops is good for the community, with 63% saying that they do try to support local businesses. Alongside this moral goodwill there is a reality check – 53% stated that they do not feel guilty about how much they shop online and many people admit to often looking at items in local shops and then ordering them online because they are cheaper (45%). This is the case for more than half of millennials (57%).
It’s not all pessimism for the High Street/ local shops. Shoppers we surveyed believe that the decline can be addressed with action by national government, local government and the shops themselves. 70% believe that the government should do more to encourage local shopping. The top 3 initiatives people believe should be taken are:
- 1st – Free car parking: 51%
- 2nd – Price matching: 40%
- 3rd – High Street/Local loyalty card: 34%
Finally, when asked which stores they missed, Woolworths was mentioned most, with 29% selecting this as their most missed High Street store, with BHS coming second (14%).
The High Street Shopping survey was conducted by Tribes Research using its own online market research community, Tribe Village. The survey was completed by a representative UK sample of 504 consumers between 9th and 25th May 2018. Data was weighted by gender, age, social grade and region to be representative of the UK population.
About Tribes Research
Tribes Research is an innovative digital research agency, with two founders who have a wealth of experience in the market research industry. We are specialists in all forms of online research, from the simple survey to fully customized communities and mixed methodology solutions, bringing to life to your research projects using a range of strategic, innovative multi-device tools all aimed to enhance customer engagement.
Tribes work with some of the world’s leading brands across a variety of markets and sectors. We service both end clients and agencies to offer a range of qualitative and quantitative research tools, including: communities, forums, online and mobile surveys.
For more details, contact:
Jo Winning, Co-founder, Tribes Research OR
Kevin Goldberg, Co-founder, Tribes Research
On 01483 685485