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Cost-of-living crisis to have more impact than Covid-19 pandemic

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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Image: Ankorstore/Mary Portas

Curated marketplace Ankorstore reveals that 92 percent of retailers think the British high street is struggling to cope with increasing pressures as the cost-of-living crisis hits retailers hard.

The new research from Ankorstore’s first Summer Retail Trend Report, supported by British retail champion Mary Portas, reveals that 74 percent of retailers believe that the cost-of-living crisis and current inflation hitting a 40-year high at 10.1 percent will be almost twice as damaging to the UK’s high street than the Covid-19 pandemic.

Retailers also added that higher rents (71 percent), increased online shopping (70 percent) and rising parking costs (38 percent), are all impacting their abilities to operate and is causing the UK high street to decline.

However, Ankorstore reveals there is optimism for the future of British retail, as over two-thirds of retailers (69 percent) believe that all consumers are keen to shop locally, as the local shopping trend continues to pick up steam. There is also an indication that retailers on the ground are seeing life slowly return to towns and cities following the pandemic, with 98 percent of those operating online agreeing that British high streets were struggling, compared to only 86 percent of retailers who run a physical store.

Commenting on the findings, Mary Portas said in a statement: “Community is at the heart of British high streets – and right now they are facing challenges from all angles. It’s vital that we together create resilient and revitalised high streets that meet people’s needs. It’s not just about doing business – it’s about doing business in the right way and championing real change for new and independent retailers.”

Consumers keen to shop locally and purchase unique products they can’t buy online

When it comes to retailers looking to boost foot traffic and increase sales, monitoring and responding to consumer trends should be at the top of their agenda, adds Ankorstore. As today’s shoppers are increasingly looking for unique products they can’t buy online (71 percent), along with sustainable products (62 percent) and location-centric products that support the local area (47 percent).

The report also highlights that retailers are seeing cost (79 percent), product quality (68 percent) and sustainability (43 percent) informing consumer purchases as British consumers look to buy better and more affordable products.

Tarun Gidoomal, UK general manager at Ankorstore, added: “Our mission at Ankorstore is to help level the playing field for local and independent retailers, who are facing immense external pressures. A huge part of this involves giving retailers the confidence, tools and purchasing conditions they need to thrive on British high streets.

“Times are tough right now, but post-pandemic shopping habits show that consumers want to shop local. That’s why we are helping to connect independent brands with local retailers.”

Mary Portas