Millenials are the primary drivers of high street footfall in the UK since non-essential retail stores in England reopened on 12 April, according to new data from global payments platform Adyen.
Over a third (34%) of young people surveyed by the service said that they missed physical stores while they were closed during lockdown, reversing the trend that millennial consumers only shop online.
Some 35% of English consumers revealed that they have visited a non-essential retail store in the first week since the sector’s reopening, however this increased by 11% among those aged 18-34.
Myles Dawson, the UK managing director at Adyen, said: “The shift to online was accelerated by necessity and has won many people over – our research found two in five consumers say they will shop online more than they did prior to the pandemic. However, there is a case of absence making the heart grow fonder when it comes to physical retail.
“Experience is the key to realising this new opportunity. If the physical retail experience doesn’t add anything that consumers can’t get online, they will just shop where it is more convenient.”
He added: “But if a physical store offers something different, that excites the senses or creates engagement, they can be incredibly successful. The key is giving the consumer choice.
“Choice to engage in a physical store, to opt for the convenience of online, or have the ability to do both seamlessly. Retailers that can adapt to these consumer demands will be best placed to thrive beyond the pandemic and will help reinvigorate our high streets.”