British consumer spending in town centers likely to decrease 1.4% to £117.8B in 2012 as budget-conscious consumers turn to out-of-town shopping areas, online shopping instead, says researcher

LOS ANGELES , April 3, 2012 () – Market researcher Verdict Research predicts that British consumer spending in town centers is likely to decrease 1.4% to £117.6 billion (US$188 billion) in 2012 as budget-conscious consumers turn to out-of-town shopping areas and online shopping instead, Internet Retailing predicted April 3.

This will most likely be a long-term trend, Verdict added.

Verdict Research Senior Retail Analyst Carly Syme said that, over the past five years, U.K. e-commerce retail sales have increased 113%.

High street stores have been more affected by shift to e-commerce sales than out-of-town retail centers due to their emphasis on sales of books, music and video—all three of which are popular e-retail items, Syme added.

Syme cautioned that government investments in the high street will “only be able to do so much,” and suggested that councils should shift their focus on high street stores away from traditional brick-and-mortar stores towards promoting leisure activities. In addition, town centers will most likely shift to providing support for online sales via such avenues as click and collect points, e-commerce-oriented satellite stores, and drop boxes where customers will be able to collect Internet orders.

The primary source of this article is Internet Retailing, London, England, on April 3, 2012.

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