Since the lockdown started, 2 in 5 Brits have been shopping at their local stores more regularly than they did before and research reveals this rediscovered appreciation of independent retailers is here to stay.
According to a new study by shopping comparison website, finder.com, over a third of Brits (36%) plan to use their local stores more often after lockdown.
The primary reason shoppers are visiting their local shops at the moment is to avoid the crowds in supermarkets (54%) and the queues outside them (54%).
Consumers are also motivated to support their local businesses during these times of financial hardship, making this the second most popular reason (46%) – and one that will keep them motivated to support independent retailers after lockdown.
Wales has seen the largest increase in residents using independent shops during the lockdown. Over half of residents there (51%) have visited local stores more and once the lockdown measures are lifted, almost half (49%) of Wales’ residents intend to use them.
Generation X has been using local shops more than any other generation during the lockdown, with 45% shopping in these stores more. Similarly, 42% of generation X intend to use them more when the lockdown is ended.
Only a quarter of the silent generation (26%) have been using their local stores more during the coronavirus pandemic, which is less than any other generation. This low turnout is likely to be a result of almost a quarter of this generation (23%) being unable to leave their homes to shop at their local stores. However, it seems that this generation will use their local stores more when lockdown is over, with 30% saying they would do so.
Commenting on the findings, shopping expert at finder.com, Georgia-Rose Johnson, says: “The fact that local, independent shops appear to be experiencing a boom in both demand and support during the lockdown will play a vital role in keeping local economies alive.
“It is an opportunity for these local shops to remind the community of the value and convenience they bring, and it seems this is being reciprocated by the high numbers of shoppers who want to support local business.
“A lot of people intend to continue giving regular custom to local shops, but the acid test will be when life eventually goes back to normal. Will this trend for local shopping continue or will the majority revert to relying on supermarkets?”
This study, founder in the website’s Shopping in a Coronavirus World report, backs Barclaycard’s findings, which can be found below: