Almost 40% of Brits would not care if the high street disappeared

Almost 40% of people are apathetic toward the high street according to new research, which was published just weeks after British retailers suffered major losses during the festive period.

New research has shed some light on the reasons behind the death of our high streets when they found that as many as 39% of Britons wouldn’t care if all high street stores closed down. The study was carried out by AWIN, who polled 2,386 people in the UK over the age of 18 as part of ongoing research into people’s shopping habits.

After respondents were asked how often they shopped on the high street, 35% answered “almost never”, followed by 21% claiming “sometimes” and 19% claiming they “never” shop on the High Street.

Of those remaining, 17% said they shopped there often and just 8% said they always shop there.

68% of recipients revealed they did most of their shopping online.

Asked whether they would mind if all high street stores closed down, 39% said that they would not care, while 48% revealed the contrary.

The remaining 13% admitted that they were indifferent on the matter.

Those who revealed they wouldn’t care were subsequently asked their reasoning for this, with most common responses found to be “I rarely shop there” (27%), “I will still be able to buy items online” (21%) and “the high street is outdated” (17%).

Conversely, those that answered they would care if the high street disappeared were asked their reasons, with recipients citing ‘jobs will be lost’ (31%), ‘I don’t like shopping online’ (25%) and ‘I like going out shopping’ (20%) as their main reasons.

Respondents were asked why they thought the High Street was struggling, with most claiming that it was a combination of both laziness and the easy nature of online shopping.

Finally, all respondents were asked for their opinion on the future of the high street; 31% thought that it would be gone within five years, 22% thought it would last ten years and 19% gave it a year.

Just one in six (16%) thought there was a future for the high street.

Commenting on the findings of the study, Kevin Edwards, Global Client Strategy Director at Awin, said: “The challenge to our high streets is starkly highlighted by these findings.

“Much has been made of the need for our high streets to create a sense of place and occasion as well as somewhere that people can shop.

“While online continues to grow apace, it’s in the interests of many multi-channel retailers to want to ensure our high-streets thrive as community assets”.

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