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The perfect ‘modern high street’ should have…


The perfect ‘modern high street’ should have…

Researchers asked Brits to picture their dream high street.

The shopping street envisioned came with a deli (38 percent), florist (45 percent) and ice cream parlour (41 percent) all coming high on the list of dream establishments. Modern Brits also love the idea of vintage shops (37 percent), farm produce shops (37 percent) and record stores (37 percent), while a clean living one in three (35 percent) dream of having a health food shop close to them.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the top wish was a decent pharmacy (58 percent), while 45 percent of those surveyed said a decent local pub was a must have. According to new research by Smart Energy GB, 62 percent of those asked believe a good high street has a mixture of modern and traditional shops.

One in three (34 percent) want a Chinese restaurant nearby, while 33 percent think a chocolatier would be a tasty addition. A WHOPPING 98 percent think that the high street has changed dramatically over the last ten years, with three quarters (74 percent) claiming it has got worse and 91 percent seeing shops close.

Despite this, over half (54 percent) think that a thriving high street is an important part of building a community and that local, independent enterprises help create a sense of unity (50 percent).

Over half (54 percent) of the 2,000 Brits polled say they worry about the increasing pressure that small businesses are under, with nine in ten (91 percent) seeing local shops close around them. More than half (53 percent) are concerned that more will follow.

Bakeries (47 percent), cafes and restaurants (41 percent) and grocer’s (39 percent) are considered most at risk of closing down. In fact, 29 percent* of small business owners say they are reviewing business costs this year – with 20 percent* going so far as to say that reducing their energy costs is a main priority. While eight in ten (86 percent**) admit that they can’t afford to waste energy.

Victoria Bacon, Smart Energy GB:

“It is heartening to see people are proactively supporting small businesses on their local high streets. We know business owners have had to work really hard, especially over the past couple of years, to manage their running costs. One small thing they can do is get a smart meter installed, which can help them track their energy use and costs over time, control costs and manage cash flow.”

To help businesses increase sales, four in ten customers (39 percent) go out of their way to support small, independent local businesses, with a further 57 percent doing so whenever they can. Nine in ten (87 percent) even go so far as to say they are happy to pay more to support independent shops, actively opting to go to a small business as many as three times a week.

Our love of local shops is so strong that three quarters (77 percent) are on first name terms with the people running businesses around them – with eight in ten (79 percent) claiming that they are a fully-fledged friend. It’s no wonder that 96 percent feel sad when they see stores disappear.

Over half (54 percent) did admit however that they are visiting the high street less now than they did five years ago.

Perfect High Street

  1. Pharmacy – 58%
  2. Fruit and Veg shop / Grocer – 55%
  3. Fish and chip shop – 55%
  4. Butcher – 50%
  5. Independent bookshop – 48%
  6. Hair salon – 48%
  7. Gift and card shop – 46%
  8. Pub – 45%
  9. Florist – 45%
  10. Ice cream parlour – 41%
  11. Deli – 38%
  12. Farm shop – 37%
  13. Vintage/second hand shop – 37%
  14. DIY shop – 37%
  15. Record/music shop – 37%
  16. Barber shop – 36%
  17. Health food shop – 35%
  18. Chinese restaurant – 34%
  19. Chocolatier – 33%
  20. Arts and crafts – 33%
  21. Travel agent – 33%
  22. Artisan coffee shop – 33%
  23. Arts and crafts shop / bakery – 33%
  24. Off licence – 31%
  25. Cheesemonger – 29%

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