British high streets are enjoying renewed popularity as the rise of convenience stores sparked by the coalition's austerity drive encourages shoppers back out onto the streets.
New research into the state of the British high street, commissioned by the Future High Streets Forum and carried out by Southampton University, suggests that high streets are benefiting from consumers' tendency to make small, top-up shops throughout the week.
Ministers claimed it was "one of the most definitive studies into consumer habits ever conducted in Britain" and said it was proof that our high streets are making a comeback, despite all the challenges faced from technology and competition.
"Convenience retail in town centres/ high streets, both independently and corporately owned, has experienced significant growth over the past 15 year, a growth sustained during the economic crisis and subsequent period of austerity," the report claimed.
It predicted the trend would continue for the next five years, with convenience stores eventually accounting for a quarter of the entire grocery market by 2019.
Over the same period, it forecasts that the market share for superstores will fall from 42% to 34.9%.
"New relationships are being established in town centres and high streets, creating opportunities and contributing to their resilience," the study concluded.