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Consumers Abandon Bricks and Mortar Stores as Coronavirus Remains an Issue

11 May 2020 - 11:40 by Graham Miller

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New research conducted by RetailX has shown that almost a third of Brits are no longer visiting any kind of real-world shopping outlet, while 89 per cent have taken steps to reduce the need to hit the high street as a result of fears surrounding the spread of COVID-19.

43 per cent said that even once the threat of the pandemic had subsided and normality resumes, they will continue to take advantage of safe shopping online and generally stick to the habits that they have formed during lockdown rather than being eager to jump back into physical store visits.

Just nine per cent of respondents to the study said that they had stuck to their standard behaviour in terms of taking trips to bricks and mortar outlets during this period, while two per cent said that they had actually increased their high street shopping trips.

The most significant statistic uncovered in the survey is that it looks like a lot of consumers will have had their shopping habits changed for good as a result of the lockdown, meaning that retailers which offer e-commerce sites will likely see a continued uptick in sales and activity.

Half of UK consumers still aim to return to their regular retail habits once they are able to, although of course since plenty of people had already shifted most of their spending online even before the threat of the pandemic, this will still suit e-commerce sites.

46 per cent of those questioned said that they thought the coronavirus would have run its course within the next four months to a year, while around a quarter believe it will be done and dusted in under 12 weeks. As relaxation of the lockdown rules is imminent, visiting more physical stores will once again become an option, although how many will take advantage of this remains to be seen.