Is High Street shopping being replaced by High Street eating?
6 August 2021 by Emily Wickington
Fashion retailers seem to be being replaced by food outlets in the UK high street and shopping centres as empty retail shop numbers increase as BBC News reports that Greggs plans to open 100 new stores.
BBC News says that Greggs has swung back following the pandemic in the first half of this year, with their sales meaning they are due to surpass their expected full year profits. They suffered last year, reporting a £65.2million loss in the first six months, due to the pandemic but has bounced back to report profits of £55.5million for the first six months of 2021. The chain has announced that “customers staying closer to home are supporting our heartland shops in suburban and High Street areas”.
At the start of July, Greggs was in 2,115 locations around the UK, and is looking to ambitiously grow to at least 3,000 shops. This news comes just a week after Greggs launched a new vegan sausage, bean and cheese melt which a senior investment and markets analyst has said “is likely to bring a little extra sauce to sales in the coming months”.
By contrast last week BBC News reported that customers are asking fashion retailers to make them “able to try on clothes comfortably” again, which may simply come with time. The pandemic has altered perceptions when it comes to window shopping and try before you buy, which may be why the retail sales were not able to bounce back as successfully as food outlets once the restrictions began to lift across the UK.
The debate about online shopping versus high street shopping, and the impact it is having on the way our high streets look continues. Which may be a positive position for food outlets looking to expand.
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With thanks to BBC News (Business) 03.08.2021