The post office is the most highly sought-after high-street establishment, a new survey has revealed.
Market Financial Solutions has commissioned an independent survey of 2,000 UK adults. It found that having a vibrant local high street is important to almost half (46%) the respondents when choosing where to live, with 27% willing to a pay premium when buying or renting to live near one.
When looking at what makes up a great local high street, a post office was the most popular choice. More than nine in ten (91%) UK adults said a post office was an ‘essential’ or ‘important’ element on a high street.
Supermarkets (89%) and healthcare establishments (GPs, dentists and opticians – 87%) are the second and third most sought-after high-street features.
Conversely, at the bottom of the list, just over a third of people (36%) said that gyms and fitness studios are essential or important, while boutique shops for fashion or home décor and furniture (40%) came one place higher.
As for hospitality venues, three fifths (61%) of UK adults said that pubs are essential or important, losing out to cafés and coffee shops (68%) and restaurants and takeaways (70%).
Here is the top 10 in full:
- Post office (91% said they are essential or important on a great high street)
- Supermarkets, including mini and local supermarkets (89%)
- GP, dentists, and opticians (87%)
- Convenience stores that are open late (78%)
- Hairdressers and barbers (73%)
- Restaurants and takeaways (70%)
- Cafés and coffee shop (68%)
- Pubs (61%)
- Boutique shops for fashion or home décor and furniture (40%)
- Gyms and fitness studios (36%)
Paresh Raja, CEO of MFS, said:“Forget flat whites or Fitness First, our research shows that practicality trumps all else when Britons are envisaging a great local high street.
“Crucially, we can see that, despite all the conjecture over the ‘death of the high street’, they remain a critical factor when people are choosing where to live. And the post office clearly reigns supreme, with supermarkets and healthcare services close behind. Hospitality and retail outlets come some way down the pecking order, which may reflect the ways that ecommerce and takeaway platforms have affected consumer habits.
“Moreover, during the pandemic when people were confined to the shops and highs streets near to them, there was clearly an attitude shift towards shopping more locally which has remained as society has reopened. Indeed, 31% of people are shopping on their local high street more now than they were pre-pandemic, with 71% wanting to see greater government support for these businesses. Amidst all the turbulence of the past three years, let’s hope the future is brighter for high streets across the UK.”