How to improve high street shopping in 2019

By talking directly to consumers we uncovered clear ways on how to improve high street shopping in 2019.

We asked over 2,000 shoppers what they thought about their local high streets - what they use them for and how they feel about a few common issues.

The research shows that 70% of shoppers don’t think the high street is dead. And we think there’s room to improve this figure even more.

The #WDYT (What do you think?) campaign helps empower high street retailers to build a stronger social media presence to support their offline offering, leading to a proven increase in both footfall and sales.

“Data from this past Christmas shows that our high streets are anything but dead. But they are, without a doubt, changing fast.

Retailers that adapt and serve today’s digitally enabled customer from their high street stores are the winners. We know that shoppers want a great digital and physical experience. Retailers and retail ventures that deliver this are reaping the rewards.”


Polly Barnfield OBE, CEO & Founder of Maybe*

The results

Of the 70% of people who still actively use their high streets, the majority go for the unique local shops.

53% of people say they go to their high streets for local shops - that’s 75% more than people who go to their high streets for chain shops.

We asked everyone if some common factors (parking, wifi, and safety) affected their decisions to shop on their high streets or not. The results were surprisingly mixed.


Is it parking related?

Well, yes and no.

Nearly 50% of people (46%) say that parking affects their decisions to go their local high street or shopping centre or not.


Is it wi-fi related?

Clearly not.

Only 10% of people say that having wi-fi on their high streets affects whether or not they visit their local high street or shopping centre.


Is it safety related?

For some, not at all, but for others, it truly is.

While 32% of people feel “totally safe” on their high streets, there are still 9% of people who feel nervous.

To understand why people aren’t shopping locally, we asked the 30% of people who claim that high streets are dead what they think killed them:



say it’s because of online shopping.



say it’s easier to shop online.



say it’s due to shops closing down.



say there are better deals online.



say it’s the lack of choice.



say it’s down to the parking.



say it’s because there’s no buzz.



say the rates are too high for businesses.

Here are a few examples of what real people are saying about their high streets:

Lisa says:

"Because the lack of choice, there's nothing ever in my size shoe or clothes."

Truan says:

"Because there are too many shops closing down. When the shop reopens, you can guarantee it'll be a phone shop or a bakery etc rather than focusing on what people really need."

Mandy says:

"Because the quality of stores have moved out of the town centres."

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