Study suggests future for bricks and mortar stores is bright

18 July 2016 - Janet Bird

bricks mortar stores

A comprehensive study of consumer habits would seem to debunk the widely held belief that the dawn of online shopping spelled the beginning of the end for bricks and mortar stores.

Indeed the research, conducted by Verdict Retail for British Land, seems to indicate a bright future for physical stores.

The shopping habits of 30,000 UK consumers were interrogated as part of the study, which examined the role of the bricks and mortar store in an omnichannel age.

Perhaps surprisingly, the study found that under-35s are more likely to visit a bricks and mortar store than any other age group, with 81 percent of sales to 16-24 year-olds and 80 percent of sales to those in the 25-34 year-old age group made in physical stores as opposed to online.

Under 35s were also found to be the most likely to blend shopping channels, such as by browsing in an actual store before ordering the items they wanted online.

Indeed, the research showed that 89 percent of total UK sales touch in some way a physical store.

This might be through use of click and collect, or by customers browsing in-store before ordering online.

The growing popularity of click and collect, which the study suggests may double in the next five years, is expected to cement the future of bricks and mortar stores for some time to come, with even purely online retailers now using pop-up stores or temporary units to secure a physical space where shoppers can see products before purchasing.

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