Consumers ‘very happy’ to return to shopping in stores, says survey

More than half of consumers are ‘very happy’ to visit retail destinations post-Covid, according to the latest figures from retail analyst Springboard.

The latest Springboard UK Retail Consumer Report showed that 51% of people surveyed were completely happy visiting retail shopping centres, high streets or retail parks, while 91% said they were ‘comfortable to some degree’.

The survey also revealed that in October 43% of UK consumers shopped in bricks-and-mortar destinations at least once a week, down from 48% in September and 47% in August.

The report said that just as Covid had led to an increase in the number of people shopping online, the pandemic also boosted the number of consumers visiting smaller shopping centres and high streets. In October 68% said they visited smaller shopping centres, up from 65% in September and 64% in August.

In terms of online trends, the survey showed that more than two-thirds (69%) of UK consumers were buying at least half of their non-food items online andh fewer than one-third (31%) more than three-quarters.

With the supply shortages created by the double-whammy of Covid and Brexit, Springboard found that 71% of consumers were very likely to shop earlier for their Christmas gifts this year.

In October, three-quarters of UK consumers who are employed worked out of the home for at least part of the week, up from 70% in August. Springboard asked those among its online sample who have been working at home since Covid about their shopping habits. Although just over half (51%) said the pandemic had not changed their shopping habits at all, almost a quarter (24%) said they visited bricks-and-mortar stores and destinations less frequently. One-in-nine said they visited them more frequently.

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For the survey, Springboard targeted 1,500 consumers across the UK with an online survey on October 12, which it said was “demographically and geographically representative of the UK population”.

The survey said: “Despite the pandemic driving up online spending in the UK, the majority of retail spending remains in-store. However, the pandemic has led to changes in patterns of consumer behaviour that inevitably impact how and when shoppers visit bricks-and-mortar destinations, influencing which strategies and initiatives delivered by landlords, occupiers and managers are the most appropriate.

“Footfall trends reflect the shift in consumer behaviour, however, this report tracks the changes in consumer sentiment and motivation that sit behind footfall, helping to deliver even greater insight to all of those involved in bricks and mortar retail.”

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