Wednesday 2 November 2016 1:00 am

Shoppers still love the high street – but want more technology, like VR and smart fitting rooms


I write about M&A, deals, IPOs, private equity, asset management, media and a few other areas for City A.M. I also write news features and am always interested in interviewing and profiling high-profile business figures. I previously worked for Press Gazette and Mail Online.

I write about M&A, deals, IPOs, private equity, asset management, media and a few other areas for City A.M. I also write news features and am always interested in interviewing and profiling high-profile business figures. I previously worked for Press Gazette and Mail Online.

Follow William Turvill

Shoppers still love the British high street experience – but they are craving the introduction of more in-store technologies, like virtual reality (VR), according to a new report.

Nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) of consumers prefer to physically see products before buying them and 57 per cent want more technology in-store, such as digital “smart fitting rooms”.

Read more: Retailers in Mayfair and Bond Street to be hardest hit by rates hike

The Barclays New Retail Reality Report, based on a survey of 2,000 consumers, also found that shoppers want the government to protect British retailers and goods in Brexit negotiations.

Ian Gilmartin, head of retails and wholesale at Barclays, said: “Consumer confidence in the retail sector is continuing despite uncertainty caused by the Brexit vote, and there are opportunities ahead for retailers if they can maximise the opportunity of ‘Brand Britain’, both at home and abroad.”

Read more: The high street is not dead but it must evolve

Two-thirds of those surveyed said British retailers should be prioritised in Brexit talks, while 64 per cent are proud of the service provided to them.

The study also found consumers are five times more likely now than they were three years ago to complain about purchases on Twitter and Facebook. And 38 per cent expect a response within an hour.

Share