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Gloucestershire Business News

Coronavirus: 63 per cent of shoppers feel comfortable visiting retail stores

New research conducted by the British Retail Consortium and insight consultancy firm Opinium has found that the public are becoming increasingly comfortable shopping in retail stores as lockdown eases.

The survey of 2,002 Brits between 12 and 15 June found that 63 per cent were comfortable making grocery purchases in-store (20 per cent uncomfortable), and 41 per cent for non-groceries (17 per cent uncomfortable). This is a rise from 51 percent for groceries and 25 per cent for non-groceries at the start of May.

Data also shows that visits to larger supermarkets rose from 59 per cent at the start of May to 66 per cent, visits to small supermarkets from 35 per cent to 50 per cent and to DIY retailers from 19 per cent to 29 per cent.

Before shops started to reopen, 13 per cent of respondents said that they intended to visit shops to browse or purchase, while 44 per cent said that they only intended to visit retail shops if necessary.

The most popular safety measures in stores according to respondents were regular cleaning (34 per cent), compulsory hand sanitising (33 per cent) and one-way systems (30 per cent).

When quizzed on the wearing of masks, 44 per cent said they currently wear them, with 26 per cent more intending to wear them in stores in the future.

Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: "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. 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. 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."

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