In keeping with its status as a major investor in Britain’s towns and cities Merkur UK has commissioned a YouGov poll to gauge how the population views the high street and what it thinks about the offering post-pandemic
More than seven out of ten British adults (73 percent) believe the high street needs a greater level of investment with just 13 percent stating that they believed it had successfully recovered post pandemic, according to a poll of 2,026 adults conducted by YouGov on behalf of Merkur UK. The nationally representative poll also highlighted a desire to broaden the retail landscape with 36 percent agreeing that high streets should have more hospitality and leisure venues and only 3 percent strongly agreeing with the statement that high streets are ‘generally vibrant and busy’.
Sascha Blodau, General Manager Merkur UK believes the fortunes of the high street and those of bricks and mortar gambling entertainment businesses are inextricably linked. He stated: “The industry continues to make a huge investment on high streets throughout the country, employing local people, supporting local supply chains and providing socially responsible gaming entertainment to local populations.
“The YouGov survey has highlighted a desire to reshape the high street experience and offer more hospitality and leisure opportunities to stimulate footfall and visitation. There’s also the feeling that it has not recovered from the commercial body blows dealt by the pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns. Whilst it is clearly important for retailers that the high street bounces back and rediscovers its mojo, individual businesses can only do so much. We believe the size of the challenge requires a multi-agency approach covering investment in infrastructure, the provision of an accessible and integrated local transport system, a reduction in unfair business costs including a root and branch review of the current rates system as well as a recognition that the high street needs to provide much more than just a shopping experience if it is to flourish. As an industry we are investing in literally thousands of high streets throughout the country and it is important that we are part of the debate at local and national levels in order to revitalise our town centres.”
Merkur UK has confirmed that it will be repeating the research initiative in 12-months-time to measure any shifts in opinion and perception. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. The total sample size was 2026 adults and fieldwork was undertaken between 12th – 13th May 2022. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).