Will customers be rushing back to shops…?

With the third lockdown ending in the UK next month and non-essential shops able to open in April, how do people feel about going back to the shops? We’ve been talking to people of various ages and in different circumstances across the country, to hear their thoughts about going back to physical retail after a year of living with the pandemic.

Below are 10 key trends that emerged about how people feel about going back to shops, many of which were consistent amongst different age groups. Get in touch to see the full research report.

10 Key Takeaways

1. Everyone we spoke to said they are looking forward to going back to physical retail when the shops re-open.

2. Key things that people missed are experiences they can’t get online, including the social experience of shopping with friends or family – they want to make a day or an afternoon activity of shopping.


3. Other key things that people have missed is being able to touch, feel, try, smell and see products in the flesh – when it comes to fashion and sportwear, being able to try on product on is a big pull back to physical retail.

4. The convenience of being able to take things away there and then and know they are right is also appealing.

5. Not being able to shop in non-essential retail for several months, has resulted in physical retail being even more enticing than it was before with several people saying they will now want to spend more time in shops.


6. People had mixed concerns over safety and hygiene in store – cleanliness and social distancing is still important to some, but several people mentioned once they’ve had the vaccine their concerns are minimal.

7. Several people highlighted that queuing to get into stores or long queues for payment will put them off and may cause them to walk away.

8. Several people demonstrated an enthusiasm to use apps in store if it makes a real difference to their physical shopping experience – the key driver was removing the need to queue.


9. Click & collect was popular amongst people who are working, however, younger people would only use the service if delivery is expensive – their view is if they need to visit a store they may as well shop there.

10. Generally people expressed a desire to support independent businesses, but only if they have the offer they’re looking for.

Whether you need insights into your target market, want to know how to entice consumers into physical retail or create a true multichannel experience we can help. Get in touch for a chat.

Jenny Hillier | jenny@briggshillier.com | +44 (0)7949 091245

To subscribe to our future insights sign-up here.


Jenny Hillier

10th March 2021