Post Office voted the most sought-after high street establishment

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More than nine out of ten Brits say the traditional Post Office is still an “essential” or “important” element of the high street, research shows.

Two Post Offices shut every week on average last year and, while there were around 25,000 in the 1960s, there are thought to be only around 11,000 in the UK today.

Despite the reported “death of the high street”, Brits still value a vibrant local high street when looking for somewhere to live.

Supermarkets (89 per cent) and healthcare establishments (GPs, dentists and opticians – 87 per cent) are the second and third most sought-after high-street features in the poll conducted by Market Financial Solutions today.

Conversely, at the bottom of the list, just over a third of people (36 per cent) said that gyms and fitness studios are essential or important, while boutique shops for fashion or home décor and furniture (40 per cent) came only one place higher. 

Experts say the research shows practicality is still important for Brits despite the impact of the pandemic.

In fact, 27 per cent of the Brits surveyed are willing to a pay premium when buying or renting to live near a traditional high street.

 

Paresh Raja, CEO of Market Financial Solutions, said: “Forget flat whites or Fitness First, our research shows that practicality trumps all else when Britons are envisaging a great local high street. 

“Crucially, we can see that, despite all the conjecture over the ‘death of the high street’, they remain a critical factor when people are choosing where to live. And the post office clearly reigns supreme, with supermarkets and healthcare services close behind. Hospitality and retail outlets come some way down the pecking order, which may reflect the ways that ecommerce and takeaway platforms have affected consumer habits.

“Moreover, during the pandemic when people were confined to the shops and highs streets near to them, there was clearly an attitude shift towards shopping more locally which has remained as society has reopened. Indeed, 31 per cent of people are shopping on their local high street more now than they were pre-pandemic, with 71 per cent wanting to see greater government support for these businesses. Amidst all the turbulence of the past three years, let’s hope the future is brighter for high streets across the UK.”

BBC Breakfast: Dan Walker says he ‘loves’ going to post office

Here is the top 10 in full:

  • Post office (91 per cent said they are essential or important on a great high street)
  • Supermarkets, including mini and local supermarkets (89 per cent)
  • GP, dentists, and opticians (87 per cent)
  • Convenience stores that are open late (78 per cent)
  • Hairdressers and barbers (73 per cent)
  • Restaurants and takeaways (70 per cent)
  • Cafés and coffee shop (68 per cent)
  • Pubs (61 per cent)
  • Boutique shops for fashion or home décor and furniture (40 per cent)
  • Gyms and fitness studios (36 per cent)

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