Shoppers no longer consider high street first port of call, new study reveals

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Six in 10 shoppers no longer consider the high street their first port of call for everyday household purchases, a study by online shopping website MyHigh.St has revealed. 

Researchers found the majority of shoppers now turn to malls or the internet, rather than get in the car and drive to the local high street.

The study of 2,000 adults found four in 10 believe they can secure better deals by shopping online, while one in six don’t have time to browse the shops.

Other reasons commonly cited for avoiding the high street include expensive or difficult parking, lack of choice and the inability to visit the shops during the limited opening hours, said researchers.

Seventy per cent of consumers instead claim they are able to conduct the majority of their shopping online or at larger shopping malls.

A spokesperson for MyHigh.St, a website designed to help local high street retailers, said: “Long working hours and hectic schedules mean that British adults have very little time to conduct their shopping, and so want convenience when they do get around to doing it.

”These days, most people turn to the internet to order everything from food, drinks, clothing and household essentials, rather than nipping down to their local high street or store to stock up.

”But the good news is nearly half of all people still like the high street for the hustle and bustle of familiar faces and knowing where everything is and being able to support local businesses.”

The poll shows people still visit the high street for items such as newspapers and magazines, medicines and toiletries.

Seventy one per cent of respondents also think the high street is invaluable for the bank or building society, while 60% prefer getting medication direct from the chemist and seven in 10 like the local post office.

However, 67% still prefer to shop online for most products because they are able to quickly compare prices, and 52% like the fact that everything is within reach at the click of a mouse.

More than half of those polled believe they save both time and money by shopping online, and 40% like the fact they can surf the net whenever and wherever they want.

When it comes to online shopping:

  • Five in 10 people are more likely to go online to shop for electrical goods than anywhere else
  • Four in 10 order all of their clothes from the web
  • Other common online purchases include gadgets, DVDs, computer games, holidays and insurance

The survey also shows people now use the internet twice as much as they did five years ago, while on average, consumers will order goods online at least six times a month, compared to three times five years ago.

In contrast, high street shopping has dipped since the start of the recession – with most people now only nipping down for essentials twice a month, compared to seven times five years ago.

The poll suggests while most people do shop online, half are worried the closure of independent shops would result in the loss of a friendly and personal retail experience.

Four in 10 people also think there would be a lack of unique goods, services and brands, while 52% don’t like the idea of encouraging unemployment in local communities.

The MyHigh.St spokesperson, said: ”Ideally people would like the best of both worlds, quick shopping at the click of a button, while being able to get personal service from reputable stores with independent views.

”This backs up what we know about time pressures, price savvy customers and the convenience of online shopping.

”We provide a practical solution for those wanting to shop locally but don’t always have the time, encouraging sales through virtual high streets to help independent shops thrive and high streets remain community hubs.

”MyHigh.St brings high streets and online shopping together letting independent retailers open their doors 24 hours a day, allowing them to compete and offer next day delivery and click and collect services.”