More Than a Quarter of British Children Don’t Know What a High Street Is

  • One in four UK children don’t know what a High Street is; despite this 74% say they’d prefer to spend money in a physical shop than online
  • Visiting shops makes children feel more grown up (31%) and lets them explore (74%) and enjoy their local area
  • Do we need to re-introduce children to the Great British High Street before it disappears for good?


We all remember spending our pocket money on some Pick ‘n’ Mix from Woolworths, the latest music in Our Price or buying the latest clothes at JJB Sport or Tammy Girl. However, with continuing High Street closures, is it time we did our bit and re-introduce the next generation to the Great British High Street and encourage them to shop local, before it’s too late?

New research from Nationwide Building Society finds that shockingly, more than a quarter of children (26%) don’t know what a High Street is. Yet, they overwhelmingly want to spend their pocket money in a physical shop (74%), as opposed to online (15%).


It’s important that children get the opportunity to explore their local High Streets as it builds valuable life skills. The feeling of independence and the ability spending their own physical cash makes kids feel more grown up (31%) and, perhaps more importantly, lets them explore their local area and shops as their journey towards adulthood begins (72%).

But, according to the research, high streets need to become more attractive to young people if they are to thrive – more than four in ten (41%) children who know what a high street is find them boring because there isn’t enough for them to do while when asked what would make them go more often four in ten (42%) say more places to play, more than a third (35%) say having a better choice of shops and over a fifth (21%) say if their parents took them more often.

With kids wanting to shop locally, could this next generation of spending power be the one that bucks the increasing drift towards online shopping?

Nationwide Building Society’s research comes alongside their ongoing commitment to the Great British High Street as they promise not to leave any town or city they’re currently in until at least May 2021 – despite widespread closures from other high street banks. Britain’s biggest building Society, which is investing £350 million in its branches over five years, is working with like-minded organisations on ways to get people living, working and spending time on the high street.