Will restricted opening hours be the death of Scotland's high streets?

A survey of Scotland's consumers has revealed what shoppers are looking for when it comes to high street service.

Thursday, 26th May 2016, 9:02 am

Retail specialists shop4pop.com asked 500 Scots what would improve their in-store shopping experience.

Following the BBC’s report on the government’s efforts to relax laws around Sunday trading hours, the survey reveals opening hours are still a hot topic.

The study revealed that 31% of respondents would like to see a more flexible approach to trading times.

It was also a popular choice with 18-34 year olds, who said they’d benefit from extended opening hours.

Quick to checkout

Despite a rise in DIY till points and all major supermarkets getting behind the self-service experience, the study revealed that 29% of respondents would like to see more manned checkouts in stores.

This was also a key concern for a huge three quarters of 35-44 year old male respondents, who called for an increase in checkouts in high street stores.

Pricing and policies

Grievances surrounding refunds and exchanges were also raised, with just over a fifth of participants voicing their want for more relaxed returns policies.

Confusion surrounding the cost of items is also a major gripe for Scots - with 19% of those surveyed saying clearer product pricing would keep them shopping on the high street.

Shopping aides

According to the study, customer service is a key concern for 14% of participants - who said that more available staff would aid their in-store experience.

Easier access to trolleys and baskets isn’t as high on Scotland’s consumers’ radar, with just under 8% of participants thinking there was room for improvement.

Topline results:

Which of the following would improve your shopping experience?

Longer opening hours: 30.8%

More checkouts: 28.8%

More flexible returns policies: 21.2%

Clearer product prices: 19.2%

More available staff: 13.5%

Easier access to trolleys/baskets: 7.7%