30% of shoppers to shun the high street despite non-essential reopening

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Nearly a third of shoppers plan to shun the high street in favour of online shopping despite non-essential store reopening for the first time this year.

According to new research from Manhattan Associates, conducted by YouGov, 30 per cent of shoppers will not return to the shops after they reopen on April 12.

Over a third (34 per cent) said they no longer had any desire to return to the high street due to the number of well-known brands that have gone under during lockdown.

However, the majority of shoppers said they remained cautious of catching COVID-19, with 60 per cent stating they will not return to shops until they were confident other shoppers were sticking to social distancing and face mask guidelines.

A further 36 per cent of shoppers said they were put off returning to the high street because of a lack of sanitising stations, while 20 per cent said it was public transport that was preventing them from returning.

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“With fewer people intending to shop on the high street, retailers need to continue to rethink their approach, with 50 per cent of consumers wanting shopper numbers limited in store and 16 per cent want same-day delivery – especially amongst 18-24 year olds (29 per cent) to reduce the handling of purchases, and 17 per cent wanting till-less shopping to ensure social distancing,” Manhattan Associates’s managing director Craig Summers said.

Separate research from IMRG and Emarsys suggests that shoppers’ expectations of physical retailers is also now much higher than it was prior to the pandemic.

According to the research, 44 per cent of shoppers want physical stores to be as convenient as using mobile apps.

Shoppers also wanted to see improvements to online shopping, with 43 per cent wanting to see more human interaction when shopping for complex items, and 25 per cent stating they wanted more human interaction while purchasing clothes online.

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