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Many children have never visited traditional high street shops, survey finds

A third of children have never been to a butcher’s shop, while nearly a quarter have never visited a greengrocer, Nationwide said.

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Many primary school aged children say they have never experienced visiting traditional high street shops such as a butcher’s, Nationwide Building Society said (PA)

Many primary school aged children say they have never experienced visiting traditional high street shops such as a butcher’s, Nationwide Building Society said (PA)

Many primary school aged children say they have never experienced visiting traditional high street shops such as a butcher’s, Nationwide Building Society said (PA)

Many primary school age children say they have never visited traditional high street shops such as the butcher’s or greengrocer’s, a survey has found.

The research among five to 11-year-olds found nearly a third (32%) of children surveyed have never been to a butcher’s shop, while nearly a quarter (23%) have not visited a greengrocer.

In further evidence of changing habits, more than half (56%) have never been to a launderette, 44% have not visited a florist and 41% have never been to a shop which repairs shoes or cuts keys, Nationwide Building Society found.

One in seven (13%) children surveyed said they have never visited a bank or building society.

Three quarters (76%) of children said their parents’ shopping usually comes from a large supermarket and two fifths (40%) said their parents shop online.

Online shopping habits varied geographically. Half of children in London (50%) said their family shops online, compared with just over a quarter of children in Wales (27%).

When asked what a high street is, a quarter (26%) of children did not know.

But nearly three quarters (72%) of the 2,000 children surveyed would prefer to buy items in a shop than online.

The reasons given for this were to explore the different items (64%), feeling grown-up (31%), and being able to talk to people (10%).

Of those who know what high streets are, more than four in 10 (41%) children do not think they offer enough for them to do.

When asked what would make them go to a high street more often, the most popular answers were more places to play and a better choice of shops.

And 3% would be tempted to go more often if there were more phone chargers available.

Nationwide recently pledged to not leave any town or city in which it is based without a branch until at least May 2021.

Our research shows there is a clear need for local shopping centres in the eyes of the youngest generation. It is up to businesses - large and small - to think how we can work together, invest and rejuvenate our high streets. Mandy Beech, Nationwide Building Society

Mandy Beech, Nationwide’s branch network director, said: “Our research shows there is a clear need for local shopping centres in the eyes of the youngest generation.

“It is up to businesses – large and small – to think how we can work together, invest and rejuvenate our high streets.

“Kids say the high street gives them the opportunity to explore and feel grown-up.

“But they want more variety and places to play and that can only come from greater investment. This is perhaps what is putting parents off going shopping locally.”

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