UK consumers vow to make ‘conscious effort’ to shop in-store

71 per cent of British shoppers have said they will make a concious effort to shop in-store now that retail has reopened, according to new research.

A survey of 1,000 UK shoppers by Sensormatic also revealed that 66 per cent of respondents had missed the High Street during lockdowns.

A further 67 per cent said they had become much more grateful for human interaction when shopping in-store, while almost nearly three quarters said that it would be liberating to be able to shop in person rather than from behind a screen.

Based on the company’s footfall index, which captures 40 billion shopper visits each year, Sensormatic data showed that the High Street had consistently seen a marked bounce back when shops reopened following each UK lockdown.

Footfall bounced back almost 300 per cent week-on-week on 12 April, the day retail reopened in England, and similar recoveries were seen after previous lockdowns; following the November 2020 lockdown, for example, shopper counts improved 193 per cent week-on-week.

“We have already started to see the green shoots of retail’s recovery beginning, fuelled by growing consumer confidence and the promise of greater freedom as society and the economy open up,” said Andy Sumpter, Sensormatic’s retail consultant, EMEA. “There is clearly a huge demand for real-life shopping experiences after months stuck shopping from behind their screens, causing many to rekindle their love of the High Street after it was closed for so long in the past year.”

Sumpter added: “But, the real test will be ensuring that this isn’t simply a case of pent-up demand; after a year of yoyoing in and out of lockdown, retailers will be counting on the continued support of shoppers if any sort of bounce back can be sustained in the long-term. And that requires re-evaluating the in-store experience so it’s both safe and engaging for the shopper,” he concluded.

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