Fashion retailers are set to face continued struggles after they reopen next week as one in five UK shoppers say they’ll never shop in-store again.
Over two thirds of UK consumers say they’ll only return to bricks-and-mortar fashion stores if major changes are made to ensure strict hygiene and social distancing measures are maintained, according to new research from Meepl which surveyed 2008 UK shoppers.
A further 20 per cent of shoppers say they will never return to bricks-and-mortar stores after lockdown has been lifted, favouring the safety and convenience of online shopping permanently instead.
This is more bad news for the fashion sector which has been hit hard by the pandemic, with 39 per cent of all “textile, clothing and footwear stores” reported zero turnover in April, according to the Office for National Statistics.
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Fashion giants like Cath Kidston, Victoria’s Secret and Monsoon Accessorize all fell into administration during the pandemic, while Primark reported losing £650 million every month since lockdown was imposed on March 23.
“The retail and fashion industries have both been shaken up on a global scale because of Covid-19,” Swiss tech company Meepl’s chief executive Ferdinand Metzler said.
“Complying with measures to make your store ‘Covid-secure’ is not transformation, it’s a short term fix that won’t be enough to keep your customers happy and returning in the long term. Our survey results are an important indicator of where and how retailers need to start their transformation.”
The news comes as non-essential retail stores are due to reopen on Monday (June 15) after months of lockdown.