Tough times ahead as spending intentions remain low
The BRC and Opinium have been working together to track consumer behaviours and their sentiment towards coronavirus. This research has run weekly since 1st May 2020, with the latest survey taking place between 31 July – 4 August 2020.
- Spending Intentions: 24% of respondents say they expect to spend less than usual over the next month compared with 11% who say they will spend more (61% intend to spend the same, 4% prefer not to say).
- Spending Intentions: When asked about specific products, the most common categories for reduced spending over the next month were fashion/clothing (37%), small electronics (28%), large electronics (27%) and health and beauty (27%).
- Purchases: 62% of respondents feel comfortable about buying groceries in store, up from 56% the week before. The average for non-grocery categories rose to 42%, a new record, from 38% last week. It is likely the introduction of masks has helped improve these figures.
- Shopping visits: 14% of shoppers intended to visit shops to browse, up from 12% at the start of July. 58% intended to visit shops only if necessary (up from 52% at the start of July). Those who said they would avoid visiting shops if possible fell to 23%, down from 32% at the start of July. Younger (18-34) respondents showed the most willingness to visit shops, with 20% saying they intended to browse, compared with 19% who intended to avoid going to shops if possible.
- Safety: 51% of respondents felt that retailers were doing enough to protect the public from coronavirus, with only 13% disagreeing.
Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said:
“Spending intentions remain down among UK consumers, suggesting retailers will continue to face hard times in the months ahead. This was particularly true for clothing and fashion, which has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic.
“Nonetheless, the public continue to be reassured by the many safety measures that have been put in place by retailers, such as perspex screens, increased hand sanitiser and regular cleaning. Four times as many people believe retailers are doing enough to protect the public, as disagree, and this has been reflected in the rise in footfall.”