The high street is integral to modern consumer needs. Despite the revolution of online sales and digital fast fashion platforms dominating headlines, our humble high street is resilient – and new research reveals that 72 per cent of people think their local high street is an important part of their community. The average Brit even goes to their local high street twice a week.
But more than two thirds (67%) say their high street has declined in the last five years, with ‘sad’, ‘bleak’ and ‘indifference’ the top words used to describe how local shopping makes people feel, felt by 21 per cent, 19 per cent and 18 per cent respectively. Brits have also criticised their high streets’ appearance, pointing fingers at the eateries in particular: 3 in 10 wouldn’t entertain going for a meal on the high street. More than 1 in 4 say that all the pubs, bars and cafes on their local high street are grotty and unappealing.
Nationwide has commissioned new research surveying 2,000 British adults. They are sticking to their pledge to not leaving any town or city in which they are based branchless until at least May 2021 and investing millions into their network of around 650 branches.
Aston spoke to Candice Brown, 2016 Great British Bake Off winner and Mandy Beech, director of branches at nationwide to discuss the Society’s pledge in more detail, and why the high street is so important.