Shoppers give retailers vote of confidence

New research has revealed that 53 per cent of UK shoppers felt that retailers were doing enough to protect the public from Coronavirus, with only nine per cent disagreeing.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Opinium surveyed 2,001 nationally representative adults between 19 and 22 June - and has been conducting similar polls since the beginning of May - finding that 15 per cent of shoppers intended to visit shops to browse, up from 13 per cent prior to England and Northern Ireland’s reopening.

Those who intended to visit shops for necessary items also rose from 44 per cent to 53 per cent. Those who said they would avoid visiting shops if possible fell from 38 per cent to 28 per cent.

Respondents feeling comfortable about making purchases in-store rose to 64 per cent for groceries (18 per cent uncomfortable) while non-groceries fell slightly to 39 per cent (15 per cent uncomfortable). This compared to 63 per cent (20 per cent uncomfortable) for groceries and 41 per cent (17 per cent uncomfortable) for non-groceries the previous week.

Visits to larger supermarkets remained at two thirds of respondents, while local convenience stores rose to half, while pharmacies and DIY stores fell slightly to a third and a quarter respectively. This may reflect the greater number of non-food stores now open, the BRC noted.

The most popular safety measures in stores remained compulsory hand sanitising (38 per cent), one-way systems (36 per cent) and regular cleaning (35 per cent).

On the wearing of masks, 60 per cent of respondents either currently wear a mask, or intend to – compared to 70 per cent last week. The proportion who said they are not wearing masks rose from 29 per cent to 40 per cent.

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson commented: “Shops and jobs depend on the ongoing support by the public – while the initial burst of enthusiasm is welcomed, the coming weeks and months will determine the future of our high streets for years to come.”

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