// Shoppers have become more comfortable buying groceries and other items in-store
// Visits to larger supermarkets rose from 59% at the start of May to 66% in June
UK consumers have become increasingly comfortable with buying groceries and other items in-store after retailers reopened shops this week, new research has shown.
At least 63 per cent of consumers felt comfortable buying groceries in store between June 12 and 15, compared to 51 per cent at the beginning of May, according to figures released by the BRC and Opinium.
For non groceries, the figure rose to 41 per cent in June versus 25 per cent the previous month.
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Furthermore, visits to larger supermarkets rose from 59 per cent at the start of May to 66 per cent, small supermarkets from 35 per cent to 50 per cent and to DIY stores from 19 per cent to 29 per cent.
Before non-essential retailers were allowed to reopen, 13 per cent of respondents said they intended to visit shops to browse or purchase, while 44 per cent would only visit shops “if necessary”.
Meanwhile, 44 per cent of consumers said they were already wearing masks, with a further 26 per cent intending to wear them in stores in the future.
“Coronavirus is fundamentally changing our experience of shopping. Consumers and retailers are adapting to this new normal; the public are making their own judgements about how to stay safe and retailers have made significant investment in safety measures in stores,” BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said.
“This has helped more and more people feel comfortable to go out and visit their local high street. Ultimately the future of thousands of shops and millions of jobs depend on the public’s decision to go out and support shops across the country,” she said.
“Retailers have spent millions of pounds making stores safe for customers and it is essential that the initial burst of enthusiasm seen on the high streets this week continues in the months ahead.
“It will continue to be a difficult time for retail, but with the support of the public and government, the UK’s largest private sector employer will continue to play a vital part in all our lives.”