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Students to “lead resurgence” of the high street

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

12 Apr 2021

Students are most looking forward to returning to bricks and mortar shops following the lifting of Covid restrictions in England, according to research from student benefits platform, UniDays.

In the survey of more than 30,000 students, 30 percent said they were looking forward to the shops reopening, more so than restaurants (26 percent), gyms (20 percent) and beauty salons (16 percent).

Unidays found that the UK government’s recent announcement that stores will be permitted to open their fitting rooms will also prove to be crucial for retailers. Its research found that more than half (52 percent) of students said that not being able to try items on in changing rooms would put them off shopping in stores.

The survey also reveals the students are in support of certain safety measures being adopted permanently, with 25 percent stating that they would back the compulsory use of hand gel, while 22 percent added that they would like to see a limit on numbers in-store and 20 percent would favour disinfecting clothes after they been tried on by other customers. However, only 14 percent want to see social distancing in-store maintained.

Viviane Paxinos, general manager at UniDays, said in a statement: “As we return to some semblance of normal, our data shows that students are ready to dress to impress as restrictions ease and they’re reunited with their friends.

“Gen Z typically has more disposable income than any other group, so it should be encouraging for retailers to see that hitting the shops is top of their to-do list. While online shopping will continue to be hugely popular with students, it’s clear that many of them still value the in-store retail experience, particularly when it comes to trying on clothes.”

Image: FashionUnited