Nine out of 10 people say long queues will drive them out of a store. (Getty)

High street punters outline the things that really give them the hump.

Long queues, crowded floors and unfriendly staff. If your shop features any of those then there’s a pretty good chance customers will be fleeing for the exit without spending anything.

New research on UK shopping behaviour has revealed just what customers most hate about the high street buying experience.


Shoppers cite long queues as the most common problem they encounter regularly in stores, with a staggering 88% of people admitting to giving up on a purchase because the queue was too long.

Crowded shop floors (36%) and stores that are too cold or too hot (33%) are also seen as a major turn-off for customers, while the frustration of trying to find staff for assistance — along with unhelpful staff — completes the list of the top five pet hates.

Nick Gray, managing director of Live & Breathe, which carried out the research, said retailers also need to “think hard about improving the experience” by making it easier for shoppers to find key areas such as changing room, tills, toilets and customer service points.

“You really think retailers would be upping their game. We all know how badly the economy has been hit and how risk-averse shoppers have become. Sadly some of our most iconic retailers have gone under in recent times so more than ever, retailers need to think hard about what their consumers want and how to cater to this,” he said.

Additionally, the results of the study provide an insight into consumers’ main motivations for spending in the current climate.

Given a range of incentives, including great service, easy parking, free product samples and loyalty cards, a whopping 55% of people said simple money-off vouchers or discounts would make their shopping experience more special.

More than 3,000 British shoppers were polled for the survey.