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Shoppers turn online to save time and money – but if time were not an issue would prefer to browse the high street: study

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The high street is no longer the first port of call for six in 10 British shoppers, new research suggests, with 67% preferring to shop online in order to save time and four in 10 believing they can find better deals online.

High Street 2012, a study of current shopping habits from MyHigh.St is based on a survey of 2,000 UK adults carried out by OnePoll. It found that most shoppers now go online or to out-of-town shopping centres rather than to their local high street.

Some four in 10 said they got better deals online, while one in six said they did not have time to browse. Seventy per cent say they can carry out most of their shopping online or at malls. Negative factors cited by shoppers as reasons to avoid the high street included expensive or difficult parking, a lack of choice and limited opening hours. The study found, however, that most people preferred to visit the high street to visit the bank or building society (71%), chemist (60%) and post office (70%). Some 67% said they preferred to shop online to save time, but if time were not a factor, 29% said they would shop on the high street, 28% online and 24% in shopping malls.

Loaye Agabani, toy shop owner and co-founder of MyHigh.St, which has taken high street shops in Wells and nearby Somerset towns onto the internet, said: “Long working hours and hectic schedules mean that British adults have very little time to conduct their shopping, and so want convenience when they do get around to doing it.

“These days, most people turn to the internet to order everything from food, drinks, clothing and household essentials, rather than nipping down to their local high street or store to stock up.

“But one in six people polled do miss visiting their high street for the hustle and bustle of familiar faces, knowing where everything is and being able to support local businesses.

“Ideally people would like the best of both worlds, quick shopping at the click of a button, while being able to get personal service, good reputations and reviews.”

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