House of Fraser on the brink – is this the death of the department store?

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In light of the uncertainty surrounding the future of House of Fraser, Kantar TNS has commissioned a survey exploring consumers’ use of and attitudes to department stores.  The findings – delivered by Kantar TNS’ Research Express service and detailed below – are based on the responses of a demographically representative group of 1,249 adults (aged 16+) in Great Britain, given between 2 – 6 August 2018. 

1. Where do we prefer to shop – department store, online or standalone retailer?

  • 41% of respondents prefer shopping for high street items online, compared with 36% in a department store and only 23% in dedicated standalone outlets
    • When split by age, there’s quite a difference.  Almost half (48%) of 65+ people prefer a department store, vs only 31% of 16-24 year olds, who overwhelmingly prefer online (52%).
  • How do you prefer shopping for high street items? (Ref T1_1, T1_3)

AGE

GENERATION

Total

16-24

25-34

35-44

45-54

55-64

65+

Silent generation

Baby boomer

Gen X

Millennials 

Gen Z

Weighted Base

1249

173

208

194

215

178

280

94

391

319

361

84

Online

508

90

108

89

98

61

61

18

114

149

183

43

41%

52%

52%

46%

45%

34%

22%

20%

29%

47%

51%

51%

Department store

448

54

59

64

67

70

134

47

166

101

107

28

36%

31%

28%

33%

31%

40%

48%

50%

42%

32%

29%

33%

Standalone outlet

293

30

41

41

50

47

85

28

111

69

72

14

23%

17%

20%

21%

23%

26%

30%

30%

28%

22%

20%

17%

2. But do consumers practice what they preach?

  • 72% of respondents have visited a department store in the past six months – but despite younger consumers being less fond of department stores than their older counterparts, they’re the ones shopping in the likes of House of Fraser and Debenhams more often (82% vs 71% in the past six months)
  • Have you visited a department store in the last six months? (Ref T2_1, T2_3)

AGE

GENERATION

Total

16-24

25-34

35-44

45-54

55-64

65+

Silent generation

Baby boomer

Gen X

Millennials 

Gen Z

Weighted Base

1249

173

208

194

215

178

280

94

391

319

361

84

Yes

899

142

158

131

152

119

198

70

263

226

266

74

72%

82%

76%

67%

71%

67%

71%

74%

67%

71%

74%

88%

No

350

31

50

63

63

60

82

24

128

93

95

10

28%

18%

24%

33%

29%

33%

29%

26%

33%

29%

26%

12%

3. Do consumers think department stores have a future?

  • Over a quarter of consumers (26%) think department stores don’t have a future on the modern high street
  • Again, despite older people more in favour of department stores than younger consumers (see point 1), younger shoppers are more likely to think department stores have a future – 62% of 16-24s think so, vs 52% of 65+
  • Do you think department stores have a future on the modern high street? (Ref T5_1, T5_3)

AGE

GENERATION

Total

16-24

25-34

35-44

45-54

55-64

65+

Silent generation

Baby boomer

Gen X

Millennials 

Gen Z

Weighted Base

1249

173

208

194

215

178

280

94

391

319

361

84

Yes

707

108

134

105

117

97

147

43

215

179

214

56

57%

62%

64%

54%

54%

54%

52%

46%

55%

56%

59%

66%

No

319

39

53

49

54

46

78

31

99

75

99

15

26%

23%

25%

25%

25%

26%

28%

33%

25%

24%

27%

18%

Don’t know

223

26

21

40

44

36

55

19

77

64

49

14

18%

15%

10%

20%

21%

20%

20%

21%

20%

20%

13%

16%

Methodology

These findings are based on the responses of a demographically representative group of 1,249 adults (aged 16+) in Great Britain.  The research was conducted between 2 – 6 August 2018 by Kantar TNS, asking for responses to the following questions:

  1. How do you prefer shopping for high street items?
  2. Have you visited a department store in the past six months?
  3. Do you visit department stores regularly?
  4. Do you visit department stores to browse or for specific items / brands?
  5. Do you think department stores have a future on the modern high street?

Generational birth year ranges are defined as follows:

  • Silent generation 1925-1945
  • Baby boomers 1946-1964
  • Generation X 1965-1980
  • Millennials 1981-1997
  • Generation Z 1998-present day