While online shopping has increased, the majority of retail sales are still made in-store because of its many advantages.

Paul McCarthy, general manager of Chantry Place shopping centre in Norwich, shares five benefits of shopping in-store, as well as some tips on how you can make the most out of your experience.

1. See it, try it, take it home

While the number of people shopping online has increased, there's no better way to figure out whether an outfit will suit you than to visit a store and see it in real life. You’ll have a store full of options for you to see, touch and try, helping you make the decision that’s right for you.

And the best bit is it’s yours to take home then and there, avoiding the hassle of ordering various options in multiple sizes, waiting in or making separate arrangements for items to be delivered, only to have to return all or some of them when you can.

Eastern Daily Press: New clothing and jewellery stores are opening at Chantry PlaceNew clothing and jewellery stores are opening at Chantry Place (Image: Chantry Place)

2. Personal experience

If you’re looking for that special something for a specific occasion, shopping in-store is definitely your best bet. Stylists and sales assistants are there to help you, they’re specialists who know their products better than anyone else and they’ll help you select the outfits or accessories that will bring out the best in you. For beauty-related products, in-store makeup artists and brand counter assistants are available to discuss the results that you’re after. They can recommend what products you need, that will complement your hair colour, skin tone and type.

3. In-store promotions

Many retailers in Chantry Place offer exclusive, temporary discounts and promotions that you won’t find online, or permanent promotions like student discounts. Increasingly, retailers choose to release new collections or items in-store before making them available through their websites, giving their customers the first chance to browse in person and shop for new products. So, don’t miss out, make the most out of those deals and treat yourself to some great in-store bargains.

Eastern Daily Press: There is a huge variety of restaurants and food spots to pick from whilst enjoying a shopping trip at Chantry Place.There is a huge variety of restaurants and food spots to pick from whilst enjoying a shopping trip at Chantry Place. (Image: Chantry Place)

4. Be social

By all means do your research, but instead of just scrolling endless screens worth of items on the sofa at home, why not make the most out of your shopping experience by sharing it with someone? Whilst you’re out, take a break for some brunch, lunch, dinner or just to grab some coffee and cake. If you wanted to indulge, have a mid-shop treatment like your brows styled or other beauty treatments at the many places available in the shopping centre.

5. Support your high street

Use it or lose it. Increasingly we're realising that we need to support local businesses, to help keep them on the high street and retain the thousands of jobs they provide for local people. The best city and town centres are ones with a varied and vibrant retail that provides support as well as dining, leisure, cultural and community spaces for us all to enjoy - we need them just as much as they need us.

Paul’s tips on how to make the most out of your shopping experience:

  • Make a list of your favourite stores so you can visit and browse them first - to ensure you fit everything in and get the most out of your trip, figure out which places you’d like to visit most so you can plan your day.

  • Decide on a budget – Think about how much you’d like to spend at the start of the day and stick to it. Treat yourself, but only within what you can afford. You could withdraw your money from a cash machine and stop buying once it's gone, to avoid over-spending.

  • Comfort, comfort, comfort – You’re going to have a great time and what will help is wearing clothing that you can slip in and out of whilst you try on clothes, but most importantly, choose the right footwear to keep you comfortable all day.

  • Be flexible – While it’s easy to stick to stores you already know and love, check out a brand or store you’ve never tried before – you never know, you might surprise yourself.

  • Take a friend – Not only will you enjoy some quality time together and have fun, it’s great to have a second opinion on outfit choices and what looks best.

There’s an amazing line up of brands from Apple to Zara at Chantry Place, home to 90 stores and its own car park for you to drop off those bags as you go.

If you’re looking for a mid-shop bite to eat, there’s something for everyone: the best coffee, muffins, snacks, grab & go as well as sit-down dining.

For more information on the stores on offer and the opening times for Chantry Place, visit chantryplace.co.uk/.