The UK High Street and Chichester

| February 2018

Did you know?

Consumer Data

  • Only a fifth of UK shoppers said they believed that the high street or shopping centre closest to their home had improved in the past 2 to 4 years and 40% though it had declined. 75% of shoppers think that they will do the majority of their shopping online in 10 years’ time and 60% think the high street will not exist as we know it. However 91% thought there will always be a place for physical stores and 85% said that online retailers can never recreate the experience of shopping in a store. (Deloitte)
  • In the UK there are some 22M over-55s, at 36% over a third of the UK population. Over-50s account for 47% of consumer spending, equating to £350bn per year. (Centre for Economic and Business Research)
  • 80% of 18-24 year olds use technology when shopping, 52% of people aged 55+ use none at all.
  • 57% of consumers want to see more independent stores. One in two want more specialist grocery shops such as a baker or butcher. Nearly half would like to see more community activities such as festivals and markets in the High Street. (Deloitte)
  • 83% of 2,000 shoppers researched choose to shop online more than they did 5 years ago. However 68% claim to visit their local town centre more than or as much as they shop online. 54% visit at least once a week with one in ten visiting every day. (Shopping Centre News)
  • Out of 4565 consumers polled, 1 in 8 were dissatisfied with their experience in a café. (Market Force Information)
  • Between 2014 and 2017 the number of Chichester City households grew by 9%. Twenty households were elderly people with assets who are enjoying a comfortable retirement. Sixty households are high status city dwellers living in central locations and pursuing careers with high rewards. A full 88 households are young people privately renting in urban neighbourhoods. (WSCC Mosaic)
  • We lost a few established families living upmarket lifestyles in large detached housing and double that of younger households settling down in housing priced within their means. (WSCC Mosaic)
  • Following planned residential developments, Chichester’s city centre is expected to capture £13.1M of the estimated £41.4M spend on comparison goods and catering that is predicted to be generated these new arrivals. (CACI)

Here are some 2030 snapshots

  • The next ten years will be marked by the “Baby Boomer” generation entering the 60+ age-group, with this segment growing by more than 30 per cent over the period 2017-30. Between 2017 and 2030, the population aged 65+ will grow from 11.6 million to 15.4 million compared to an expansion of only 13 per cent in the population as a whole.
  • There will be a surge in the “oldest old”. People over the age of 85 are now the fastest growing demographic group in the UK. There are currently 1.5 million people in this age group, by 2030 this will have grown to over 3 million.
  • These changes will drive significantly increased spending on health, long-term social care, the state pension and other old-age benefits. The Office for Budget Responsibility suggests this could increase annual spending by almost 2.5 per cent of GDP between 2019/20 and 2030.
  • In 2016, 16 per cent of men and 12 per cent of women were still in employment past retirement age. While official retirement ages will rise over the period to 2030, it is estimated that by 2030 the proportion of working retirees could at least double.
  • By 2030 11.3 million people are expected to be living on their own; more than 40 per cent of all households. If rates of loneliness among older people are not reduced, predicted demographic change alone will drive up the numbers of lonely older people in the UK by 45% by 2030.
  • Over-50s spending is set to grow by 4.4 per cent per year. In 2030, it is estimated it will increase to £368bn. 40 per cent of this spend is likely to be online, leaving £220bn for high street retailers to win or lose.
  • In 2030, retailers who are not elderly friendly could be losing annual spending of between £0.58bn and £4.5bn.
  • By 2030 e-commerce will account for around 40 per cent of all UK retail sales; which suggests approximately half of the UK’s existing retailers could shut up shop over the period 2020 to 2030 if they fail to reinvent themselves.

(All data Kent University 2017)

Retail Data


74,000 shops could shut with 900,000 retail jobs forecast to be lost by 2025 as a result of increasing costs from the rising National Minimum Wage, the Apprentice Levy, changes in buying behaviour and technological advance. The areas hardest hit will be Wales and the North of England. (Retail Bulletin)

The following sectors are in decline:

Categories Change in Total Units 2004-2012
Music Shops -45%
Greeting Card Shops -32%
Travel Agents -31%
Off Licences -21%
Bookshops -19%
Pubs -8%


The following sectors have known significant growth, many converting retail space to leisure space that is encouraging improved dwell times and social interaction:

Categories Change in Total Units 2004-2012
Convenience Stores +153%
Cafes +75%
Betting Shops +43%
Charity Shops +34%
Fast Food Outlets +30%
Restaurants +20%

Chichester is an attractive place for business. In spite of being cited in the top three for rental growth in the South East region outside of London at 3.1% per annum (Winchester 3.4%, Bath 3.2%). New occupiers emerge all the time to occupy empty retail spaces, reducing the vacancy rates by a third to a half against the 10% national average. Limiting the use of mezzanine spaces in out of town retail sheds is helping tip the balance of favour back towards town centres.

  • Click and collect is growing fast, with 18% of total sales in 2015, four times what it was in 2010. (Retail Week)
  • Convenience stores will grow by 22% to £20.2bn by 2020. (Deloitte)
  • Mass convenience retailing is expanding – outlets like Greggs, Holland & Barrett. (Savills)
  • Aspirational retail has grown 16.8% – outlets like Cath Kidston, Hotel Chocolat, Lakeland, White Stuff, Hotter Shoes, Carluccio’s, Côte. (Savills)
  • The eating out market grew by 8% between 2008-2013. (Industry Property and Planning Specialists)
  • The coffee chain sector has grown at a rate of 6% annually since 2012. (Industry Property and Planning Specialists)
  • Prêt à Manger is no 1 and Café Nero no 2. (Market Force Information)

At over 3,000 properties, the Chichester District has one of the highest densities of listed buildings for a rural area in the country. The City has “the wrong kind off space” for several major nationals to be present (such as Zara, Primark). It is hard to see how their presence may be “facilitated” when the 519 listed buildings within the City boundary create an environment which remains more attractive both to retail and shoppers than the national trend.

Data sourced by the Retails Trends report for the CDC Vision, August 2016. (Items in brackets following the entries are the individual sources).

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