NEWS19 July 2016

Physical stores maintain appeal to under 35s

News Retail Trends UK

UK – Almost 90% of all UK retail sales still involve a physical store in some form, boosted by click & collect and initial instore browsing, according to research by Verdict Retail for British Land.

The survey on shoppers’ behaviour found that under 35s were using physical stores the most – 81% of sales to 16- to 24-year-olds and 80% of sales to 25- to 34-year-olds are made in-store rather than online. Londoners are also more likely to visit a store as part of their shopping journey than people from other regions.

In 2015, £278 billion of all UK retail sales involved a store to some degree, with click & collect and online sales browsed in-store adding 5% to physical retail (£266bn). Excluding food and grocery sales the boost increase to 9%. Other findings include that women use click & collect more than men.

Ben Dimson, head of retail business development for British Land, said: “The research reveals a number of thought-provoking insights, such as the importance of stores for under 35s, and the varied role of the store across sectors.

“Understanding how physical stores influence online sales helps us ensure our retail strategy is deep rooted in the mindset of the consumer. We expect to see continued demand for physical stores from a variety of operators, and this research helps to cement their place within retailers’ plans in an omni-channel age.

"Even online pure-plays are dipping their toe into the world of physical, taking pop-up space or temporary units. In doing so, they benefit from the ‘halo effect’ that stores offer – generating online sales and strengthening customer relationships.”