Revealed: What Scots hate most about the high street

editorial image

A new survey has revealed what shoppers hate most about the high street experience.

2000 people in Scotland were asked what really gets their goat about high street shopping – with queues, cramped stores and other customers taking the top spots.

52.2% of participants disproved a Great British stereotype, citing queues as their ultimate annoyance when it came to high street shopping – while the company of other customers came in second at 43.5%.

Cramped shops scooped a substantial 34.5% of the vote, with a third of 55-64 year-olds claiming they were a nuisance.

While one resounding outcome of the survey by Sinso Retail Support saw Scots take aim at in-store service, with aggressive salespeople (31%) and poorly informed staff (25%) scoring highly.

No refunds

When it comes to products, Scots aren’t willing to settle – citing low stock levels (27.6%), poor product quality (21.7%) and mislabelled products (13%) as a few of their high street deal-breakers.

More than one in three men surveyed said poor quality products drove them mad, while women considered a poor product selection one of the cardinal retail sins.

Misleading offers (24.1%) and ugly product displays (17.2%) also come under fire, with the former proving especially unpopular with 45-54 year-olds.

Retail sins

Earlier this month, the BBC reported a government defeat, as an overhaul on Sunday trading laws was rejected by MPs.

Despite that, 8.7% of participants said limited opening hours were among their biggest high street headaches.

While a huge 41.1% of over-65s revealed that poor access annoyed them most about the high-street shopping experience, with some retailers failing to accommodate the needs of older customers.

A number of respondents shed light on the disadvantages of high street shopping when compared with the online experience – highlighting the extra time and expense, and limited product choice as a few of the comparative shortcomings.

After The Guardian reported that UK high streets are losing customers to purpose-built retail parks, this latest retail study has revealed some potential catalysts for the high street’s demise - and a number of opportunities for retailers to take a step in the right direction.

Lee Singers, of Sinso Retail Support, said: “The study’s interesting in that it continues to highlight consumer dissatisfaction in the way retailers are failing to listen to their customers.

“Whilst we have come a long way over the last few years, continuous improvements need to be made to in-store layout to make for a more rewarding and enjoyable entry to exit journey – from fixtures and fittings and in-store lighting, to product availability and increased levels of customer service.”

Topline results:

What gets your goat about high street shopping? (Respondents were allowed to select multiple answers)

Queues: 52.2%

Other customers: 43.5%

Cramped shops: 34.5%

Aggressive salespeople: 31%

Poor product selection/low stock levels: 27.6%

Misleading offers: 24.1%

Poorly informed staff: 24.1%

Poor quality products: 21.7%

Poor access: 17.4%

Ugly displays: 17.2%

Mislabelled products: 13%

Limited opening hours: 8.7%