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Consumer Confidence Levels and Spending Habits Shift

Monday, August 10, 2020 - 16:43 by Graham Miller

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A survey conducted by Opinium on behalf of the BRC has revealed that there is growing interest amongst consumers in returning to bricks and mortar outlets, even if a sizeable proportion of the population are still committed to carrying out safe shopping online rather than risking a return to the high street post-lockdown.

62 per cent of respondents to the report said that they would now be happy to head to a physical outlet to buy groceries, according to Internet Retailing.

Meanwhile, this proportion falls to just 42 per cent when it comes to the prospect of visiting stores that are only stocked with non-consumable goods.

Analysts argue that part of the reluctance expressed by consumers is related to the need to wear a face covering when heading into retail outlets, with just 14 per cent said that they were aiming to return to their traditional browsing habits rather than only visiting stores when they have a specific item they want to buy.

51 per cent said that they felt that retailers had taken adequate precautions to keep customers safe from the spread of COVID-19, and just over a tenth said that the felt the response by businesses had not gone far enough, which suggests that the majority are comfortable with in-store safety.

Spending reductions are expected to be a factor across the board, with 24 per cent of consumers intending to cut their budgets over the coming weeks, while just 11 per cent are aiming to increase their retail activity.

Fashion will likely benefit the most from increases in spending, which is good news given how hard this segment of the market has been hit. Even so, bricks and mortar stores look set to remain in a precarious position while online spending still flourishes.