Some 17,000 local high street stores could open within the next 12 months, as customers reportedly “adapt to a post-lockdown world by looking local”, according to Barclays Corporate Banking.
Its research found that consumers have returned to physical stores with “confidence” since restrictions began to ease.
Some 68% say they have felt safe, or very safe, to return to the high street. Reportedly, a “significant” at 40% are planning on bolstering their in-store shopping over the coming year, while 41% say that it is their “favourite way to shop”.
According to Barclays, there will be a more prominent show in local high streets rather than in big cities.
In addition, home and hybrid working patterns are said to “persist” into next year for 44% of workers, with 16% expecting to work entirely from home and 28% anticipating a part-home, part-office model.
A quarter of consumers (25%), according to Barclays, said that the” best way a retailer can appeal to them is to open stores in their local area” however.
In addition, Barclays said its research revealed that 18% of retail businesses with 10 or more employees are eyeing community store openings, with each of them looking at five new premises on average.
Karen Johnson, head of Retail and Wholesale for Barclays Corporate Banking, said: “Our report shows how innovative UK retail businesses are looking to build back better to meet the challenges of a reshaped and revitalised retail landscape.
“Ecommerce has been the undisputed winner of the pandemic but not far behind are community high streets, as shoppers seek to ‘look local’ and support the stores on their doorstep. With the continuation of home working, this shows no sign of slowing down, and retailers are now looking at evaluating their store estates to meet local demand.”