Ghost town: Gen Z writing on the wall for the high street

ghost_high_streetBritain’s high streets have survived Covid lockdowns – just – but the future is far from rosy with more than half of Generation Z shoppers claiming they will buy everything online within the next decade.

According to new research conducted by The Centre for Generational Kinetics and commissioned by WP Engine, some 54% of Gen Zers – aged under 24 – believe all shopping will be done online by 2031.

But it is not just the folly of youth; nearly two-fifths (39%) of Baby Boomers – those aged between 57 and 75 – also reckon ecommerce will be king.

A further three-quarters (75%) of Gen Z shoppers say they plan to shop online entirely or mostly over the next year as they plan to continue their lockdown habits post-pandemic.

Meanwhile, more than two thirds (70%) of Baby Boomers and Millennials (67%) said they expect to maintain their new shopping habits after the pandemic, mirrored by 63% of Gen X and Gen Z.

All of which does raise questions about who all those people are in the shops these days.

The Center for Generational Kinetics president Jason Dorsey said: “Missing from the conversation on how to understand and best serve consumers, clients, and marketplaces now is statistically accurate data that specifically uncovers how generations have changed and adapted their specific online behaviour during the last year, including throughout the pandemic, and trends and behaviours that will shape the next three to five years following the recent surge into the digital world.”

One thing does seem certain and that is younger generations are also now far more dependent on the Internet.

Almost 30% of Gen Z respondents said they cannot possibly go for more than an hour without online access; this figure rises to 67% for more than four hours.

Don’t say you haven’t been warned…

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