Shoppers unsentimental about struggling High Street brands

With Peacocks and Jaeger the latest High Street brands now in administration, research shows 43 per cent of UK shoppers will not miss any of the retail brands that have gone bust or who have announced financial problems since the pandemic began.

The study of over 2,000 UK adults - commissioned by global e-commerce agency Melody - found that half of men (48 per cent) and 39 per cent of women were “unfazed” by the retailers at risk of pulling down their shutters for good.

Perhaps surprisingly, this figure rises to six-in-ten (58 per cent) for those over the age of 55.

This compares to only a quarter (24 per cent) of those aged 25-34 - yet 27 per cent of Millennials are now purchasing products online they would have previously bought on the High Street.

The research shows that customer loyalty to traditional retail brands is in decline, with three-in-ten (33 per cent) of Brits now shopping less on the High Street.

The threat to incumbents is compounded by the fact that one-in-five did not think retailers “were doing enough” to allay concerns over in-store health and safety.

Debenhams is the store whose presence would be missed the most overall, as selected by 33 per cent of all those surveyed.

Laura Ashley, which is set to return to the High Street by selling its homeware products in Next, would be missed by 13 per cent of women aged 35-44.

Almost three-in-ten (28 per cent) of higher income shoppers who earn over £75,000 a year wouldn’t miss any retailers in administration, but this figure leaps to six-in-ten (59 per cent) of those earning below £15,000.

Chris Cooper, planning director at Melody, said: “Mandatory face coverings and concerns over social distancing had already left irreparable dents on the High Street experience, and a second lockdown means that High Streets are once again becoming ghost towns.

“Shoppers of all generations have adapted to e-commerce under lockdown and 81 per cent suggest they will maintain these habits.”

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