Over a third of the UK has now been shopping post lockdown

Posted:

September 2, 2020

Author:

Mel Frazer-Reid

But well over half are still not having as much fun as pre-lockdown.

The Eat Out to Help Out scheme that was bringing many people to the high street may have ended on Monday, but there is still plenty to be positive about. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed recently that UK retail sales had climbed back to pre-pandemic levels.*

And our Startle Research has some encouraging findings too: As of August 2020, over a third (35%) of the UK population has now ventured back to bricks and mortar high street shopping (see graph 1), a number that has increased markedly from 26% in July.

Graph 1

How fun shoppers are finding the retail experience remains static but overall, they are still finding it less fun than before lockdown. For July, 60.5% thought the retail experience less fun than before lockdown, with 10.4% thinking it more fun, while in August those corresponding figures were 60.1% and 10.3% respectively.

Of those shoppers finding it more fun post lockdown, in July nearly a third of that number (29.3%) were aged 35-44, but this age range seems to be having less fun in August, as they account for just 8.9% of those now finding shopping more fun. That’s a x3 reduction, as the younger generations seem to be enjoying post-lockdown shopping a bit more now (see graph 2).

Graph 2

Thoughts from our CEO, Adam Castleton:

"It's really encouraging to see so many people returning to the shops, evidence that there is still (and will always be) a place for physical retail. A store environment gives brands the opportunity to make lasting impressions with customers, and develop deeper connections that cannot be replicated online. Coronavirus has made the shopping experience less fun and more functional, creating an opportunity for the brands that want to deliver on a great customer experience."

This hub is going to be the place to be for consumer research in retail and hospitality, so make sure to bookmark it, follow us on social, write it on a post-it note or whatever it is that you do. You could also sign up and subscribe to our mailing list, which is easy like Sunday morning.

Surveys carried out July and August 2020. Sample sizes (n)  >1000 people, UK Nat. Rep. with 95% confidence level & margin of error of +/- 5%.

*BBC article: UK Retail sales climb back to pre-pandemic levels. 21st August 2020.

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