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UK shoppers prefer to visit stores, despite pandemic concerns

By Don-Alvin Adegeest

16 Dec 2021

Retail

Image: Pexels

There is no doubt the global coronavirus pandemic has had irretrievable impact on shopping patterns. Research from Sensormatic’s Shopper Sentiment Report says the deeper changes brought by the pandemic are only now starting to emerge and will take years to fully come through. This is complicated by the fact that some of these dynamics were already going on beforehand and accelerated during the pandemic. Those changes represent both a threat and an opportunity for retail.

Still, UK shoppers are returning to in-store services, despite accelerated demand online, with 72 percent of surveyed shoppers saying they will shop in-store this Christmas, vs 54 percent last year (+18 points vs 2020). 79 percent planned to have started their Christmas shopping before the beginning of December.

According to the research visits are fewer and more purposeful for 45 percent, who will reduce the number of visits they make during Christmas shopping due to Covid-19 concerns, but their shopping may result in more valuable baskets but lower traffic in store.

Retailers are now faced with fast changing consumer behaviours and they need to adapt quickly. However, being unable to shop in-store for prolonged periods of lockdowns and lingering uncertainty about the introduction of the UK’s COVID-19 ‘Plan B’ for winter 2021 – has sparked a renewed desire for social shopping, as well as significantly sped up the adoption of digital services such as Click & Collect and Kerbside Collection.

Article source: Sensormatic UK Shopper Sentiment Report