The UK’s worst high streets revealed, but new data shows light at the end of the tunnel

| November 19, 2019 | By

Poole may be home to the UK’s “most declining” high street, according to online investment platform Asktraders, but residents of the Dorset coastal town who use Yoyo-powered apps in-store are actually spending around 30% more (year-on-year) than they did in 2018.

The UK’s worst high streets revealed, but new data shows light at the end of the tunnel

Indeed, our data has found that customers using a Yoyo-powered app to shop on the five “worst UK high streets” have increased their average spend per visit by an outstanding 25%!

Asktraders analysed the state of high streets across the UK, taking into account ATM, bank branch and store closures, as well as ONS percentage growth of the retail sector during 2019. 

Considering all these factors, the data revealed that the five “most declining” high streets were to be found in (ordered by rank):

  1. Poole (pictured above)
  2. Blackpool
  3. Warrington
  4. Manchester
  5. Swindon

(You can view the full list here)

Poole High Street, which has seen overall retail growth fall by four percent in 2019, has had to battle a grim economic climate, as well as “low-level anti-social behaviour” in recent years, according to local newspaper the Daily Echo

Although local experts have also cited consumers moving away from physical stores to shop online as a major factor.

There’s no doubt that it all sounds a bit bleak for Poole’s high street, which has been described by local shoppers as “tired”.

However, the physical stores in Poole that have embraced digital to modernise their in-store customer experience seem to be telling a different story.

We decided to analyse what the average spend of consumers in Poole looked like when they used a Yoyo-powered app to pay and earn loyalty in high street stores. 

The data revealed that customers have so far spent a massive 29% more per visit this year than they did in 2018.

Analysing the other “most declining” high streets on the list, a similar story is to be found:

The UK’s worst high streets revealed, but new data shows light at the end of the tunnel

Excitingly for Yoyo (not to mention our retail partners), this data reveals that Yoyo-powered apps are helping physical retailers to buck the trend in real terms, with overall average spend per customer visit going up by a quarter in the five “most declining” high streets in the UK.

Here at Yoyo, these results remind us of a rather pertinent quote from Deloitte’s 2019 Retail Trends:

“Retail isn’t being destroyed, but is in the process of being redefined. How retailers decide to define themselves will determine if we’ll see them on the other side.”

The decisions taken by (clearly not enough) savvy stores in Poole, as well Blackpool, Warrington, Manchester and Swindon are a case in point.

Retailers need to bear the following in mind. While there’s no doubt that online shopping is growing, it’s worth remembering that 82% of transactions continue to take place in physical stores (ONS). 

Couple this with the fact that virtually every retail survey reveals that consumers would ideally prefer to shop in-store than buy online, it’s easy to identify an increasing gap between customer expectations and retailer delivery on the high street.

Experts and consumers alike agree that customer experience is the retailer’s new battleground and will determine the future success of the high street.

If physical retailers can put their focus into delivering an offer that matches or exceeds the fast, convenient and personalised experience found online, this data proves that meaningful success can be found even in the most challenging of high street environments.


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At Yoyo our aim is pretty simple: we want to help retailers modernise their in-store customer experience so that positive sentiment for the UK high street converts to positive behaviour.

If you’d like to find out how Yoyo can inject a fast, convenient and personalised experience into your in-store offering, visit poweredbyyoyo.com