Despite online shopping dominating the retail market, the majority of shoppers still favour town centres, new research has revealed.
The survey of 2,000 UK shoppers, conducted by Bracknell Regeneration Partnership, 50:50 joint venture partnership between Legal & General Capital and Schroder UK Real Estate fund, together with Bracknell Forest Council, found that 68% visit their local town centre as much as shop online, while 54% visit their town centre once a week.
Online retail has seen a substantial boost over the last few years, with 83% of those polled choosing to shop online more than they did five years ago. While interestingly, only 6% say they have never shopped online. It was found that the majority of shoppers who stick to town centres are over the age of 35 and older.
Fund Manager at Schroder UK Real Estate Fund, James Lass, commented: “The research has been really valuable in learning more about what town centre’s need to do to continue competing with online shopping. The results demonstrate that online shopping is more frequent in younger adults, but a good mix of experiences, such as F&B and leisure, and use of technology, can help draw these shoppers to their town centre.”
These findings have put sector worries slightly at bay, as Richard Poyser, Retail Leasing Manager at Legal & General Capital, concluded: “With continued speculation around the ‘death of the high street’, it’s very reassuring to see that people would still prefer to shop in store than online.
“However, as shopping is now so accessible for the internet-savvy, retailers and developers must continue to engage young audiences though social experiences and a good mix between retail and F&B and leisure facilities which support the shops.”
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