A survey of more than 1,200 adults has found 16-24 year olds visit department stores more often than older people, despite an overall preference for shopping online.
With the news that House of Fraser will close 31 of its 59 stores, profit warnings from Debenhams, Moss Bros and Mothercare in 2018, and John Lewis’ fashion sales down for a second week running, it would be easy to question whether the UK’s love for department stores is on the wane.
But new findings from research consultancy Kantar TNS suggest the younger generation may hold the key to department stores’ future on the high street.
In a survey of 1,249 British adults, 41% said they preferred shopping for high street items online, compared to 36% in department stores, and 23% in standalone outlets.
When split by age, almost half (48%) of people over the age of 65 prefer department stores, versus a third (31%) of 16-24 year olds. Over half (52%) of the younger generation say they prefer shopping online.
Despite this, the majority (82%) of 16-24 year olds have visited a department store in the past six months, the highest of any age category. And 62% of those respondents believe department stores have a future on the high street. Only 52% of people over the age of 65 believe this to be the case.