Money-saving and online fundraising website, Savoo, wanted to glimpse into the future of the UK’s high streets. With talk of AI taking over 20% of retail jobs in the near future, Savoo has asked AI about what our UK high streets will look like in the future, creating visuals to go alongside AI’s commentary.
The team has also looked into the UK’s high streets funding, store openings and closures and high street spending habits in 28 major UK cities to determine which UK cities have the most optimistic future for their high streets. AI predicts Amazon and Etsy to make an appearance on UK high streets in the next five years.
AI has the capacity to predict trends using online resources and available data, so the team at Savoo asked AI to predict what the UK’s high streets will look like in five years’ time. AI suggests that the two online e-commerce stores may appear on our high streets in the future.
Amazon has been experimenting with brick-and-mortar stores for several years now. The business already operate several Amazon Go stores and Amazon Books locations, and may continue to expand its physical presence in the country.
Etsy has been growing in popularity in recent years. The company has opened a few temporary physical shops in the US and the UK and may consider opening more permanent locations in the future.
By looking into official reports around the UK high streets, including the opening and closings of stores and the High Street Recovery Tracker, Savoo created an index to show which UK cities have the strongest high streets.
Plymouth comes out on top with the highest overall index recovery score (165) of all the cities analysed – which takes into account the footfall in each city centre in comparison to pre-lockdown – along with the highest scores for weekday, weekend and night time footfall. Blackpool comes 2nd with the highest spend score (195) of the cities analysed.
Using available data on chain store openings and closings across the UK in the last five years, Savoo’s study predicts that by 2030 Greater London will have a record number of chain stores closing (2399), an increase of 542 from 2022.
The data shows that overall in the UK in 2030 we can expect to see 13,228 chain store closures compared to just 898 chain stores opening on our UK high streets, meaning an overall reduction of around 11,371 chain stores.
Ed Fleming, managing director at Savoo, said: “The way that people shop has changed considerably in the past 10 years. With the rise in online shopping becoming more convenient for many, we have seen huge high-street names buckle. With the cost-of-living crisis, people are guided by the pursuit of value and necessity, with many looking online for as many savings as possible.
“People’s shopping habits are forever changing and businesses need to adapt quickly to survive. It will be interesting to see which types of shops and businesses we see emerge on the UK’s high streets in coming years.”