New report reveals outlets people most want to see on their high streets
The Association of Convenience Stores’ Community Barometer report looks at what consumers, retailers and councillors really feel about the shops and services on their high streets, and what needs to be done to make high streets successful again.
In the report, Post Offices were seen as the standout performers by all survey groups while other shops and services considered to have a positive impact were specialist food shops such as butchers and bakers, independent convenience stores, restaurants and banks.
However, takeaways, betting shops and pawnbrokers – all of which were perceived to have dramatically increased in number over recent years – were viewed least positively by all surveyed groups.
ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “These results clearly show that people want a diverse offering of financial services, retail outlets and places to eat and drink. The tendency of consumers to want more independent stores and specialist food shops shows that they want to shop in places which have a unique local atmosphere and aren’t just part of a clone town full of national chains.”
The report also highlights clear differences between the North and the South. Coffee shops, banks and convenience stores were sought after by more respondents in the North than in the South, while those in the South were keen to see fewer charity shops, pawnbrokers and betting shops than their northern counterparts.
Lowman continued: “Businesses' concerns about the future of high streets are shared by their customers. Government has made significant progress through the Portas Review and the Future High Streets Forum to improve the state of the high street across the country, but there is more to be done. We hope that this report will provide a benchmark for MP’s priorities as we draw closer to the General Election.”
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