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Young people still prefer to shop the high street

Young adults prefer to shop in physical stores over online, according to a survey by advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi.

The poll of more than 1,500 people aged between 16 and 29 revealed that 77% “love to shop” in physical stores, as opposed to online. Almost the same proportion (78%) had visited a high street store the previous week.

Nearly half of those surveyed, however, said they had no pride or connection to their high street, which, they say, is too generic.

Agency Saatchi & Saatchi, which carried out the poll, found that 41% of the survey group had considered opening a retail business themselves. And three-quarters of those respondents said they would choose a site on their local high street over a shopping mall.

The findings come a week after a report by the Local Data Company showed 14.3% of the UK’s shops are empty.

Earlier this month, the department for communities and local government launched a competition to find 12 towns that will become ‘Portas Pilots’, or blueprints for the regeneration suggested by retail expert Mary Portas in her review of the UK’s ailing high streets.

The Portas Review was published last December. Among her recommendations were placing a tax on out of town car parks, establishing a national market day and hiring town centre managers to help create vibrant and diverse high streets.

Contrary to popular belief, research firm Mintel recently found just 9% of all UK retail sales happened online in 2011. The study also showed those aged 35 to 44, prefer to shop using the internet.

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