Councils must do more to quench shoppers’ thirst for diversity on UK high streets, a new report by Barclays Corporate.

The survey of more than 2,000 consumers across the UK, conducted by

Longitude Research on behalf of Barclays in August 2016 found that while consumers continue to visit and enjoy their local high street, they clearly believe that there is room for improvement.

In particular, the survey shows they are crying out for a wider range of vibrant and diverse stores.

A greater proportion of respondents say their high street has declined over the past

three years (45%) than say it had improved (22%) – and the number one reason they gave for that decline was that the variety of stores had decreased.

The top three types of outlets that customers would like to see more of are independent

specialist retailers, independent cafes and restaurants, and boutique stores

For some retailers, the economic uncertainty caused by Brexit may have dampened enthusiasm for investing in physical stores. Yet the research indicates that consumer faith in the retail sector remains high: over half believe that British retailers will help the country withstand the economic uncertainty of Brexit. And 65% believe we have a duty to support British retailers and British goods after the Brexit vote.

In addition, notwithstanding the recent dip in consumer confidence, just 22% of consumers say they feel less likely today to spend money on big-ticket items than they did before Brexit.

The survey also suggested that cafe culture is reshaping the high street, with one in four consumers visiting a cafe or coffee shop daily.

An increase in the number of cafes and restaurants was identified as a positive factor by 39% of those who had seen an improvement in their local high streets.

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