Nearly half of Brits believe that high streets are no longer relevant, with new data showing that the public is craving a change to their local high street in order to continue visiting it.
The data, published by IT company Accenture, comes as retail experts have forecasted that up to 18,000 stores could vanish off the high street by the end of this year, as soaring renting costs and tough economic conditions batter retailers.
So far this year, once popular high street stores such as Paperchase and M&Co have collapsed – seeing the closure of 160 and 170 stores across the UK respectively.
This follows the fall out from Covid-19, which wiped popular brands such as Topshop, Debenhams and House of Fraser off the high street. While the companies were snapped up and continue to trade online, their lots often remain empty as landlords struggle to find new tenants.
According to Accenture, some 56 per cent of respondents feel that the high street does not have everything they need to do their weekly shop – with many now going online to shop.
Moreover a lack of choice has pushed 28 per cent of Brits to warn that they may stop shopping on the high street over the next five years – the data shows that 58 per cent of the public wants new clothes shops and 63 per cent crave new general retail stores.
Accenture view this data as a positive for the high street, saying its future had “been in question in recent years, but for now, stores are clearly still in fashion,” Kelly Askew, retail strategy and consulting lead at Accenture, said.
He added: “At a time when shoppers are being even more selective about where and how they spend their cash, the future of the UK high street lies in its relevance and ability to meet local needs many retailers are still placing their bets on bricks-and-mortar, but there are warnings that the high street is in need of a reinvention if it’s to survive.”